Norma Romm, DLitt et Phil

Research Professor 
Department of Adult Education and Youth Development 
University of South Africa, P.O. Box 392, Pretoria, 0003

Phone: +27 (0)82 4060585

Norma Romm is a research professor in the Department of Adult Education and Youth Development at the University of South Africa. She holds a Master’s degree in Sociology from the University of Cape Town (1982) and a DLitt et Phil degree (also in Sociology) from the University of South Africa (1986). In both these theses Norma explores/interprets how various forms of Marxism try to tie “knowing” to “action” towards the reconstruction of society, as she engages with the different epistemological (and value) positions that she locates.

In terms of the doing of any research, Norma is interested in co-considering with participants and stakeholders how inquiries can be practiced in a responsible way, taking into account co-responsibility for the potential impact of research on the social and ecological worlds of which research is a part. She is interested in how what she calls “active” research can be transformatively oriented (or future directed) to forward enhanced relationality in our social and ecological existence. This is also in keeping with her concern to re-vitalize the suggestions of (various) Indigenous authors across the globe who call for a recognition of Indigenous ways of knowing and being which are grounded in a sense of “connectedness”.

She has authored the following books: The Methodologies of Positivism and Marxism(Macmillan, 1991); Accountability in Social Research (Springer, 2001); New Racism (Springer, 2010); Responsible Research Practice (Springer, 2018); People’s Education in Theoretical Perspective (with V. McKay, Longman, 1992); Diversity Management (with R. Flood, Wiley, 1996); and Assessment of the Impact of HIV and AIDS in the Informal Economy of Zambia(with V. McKay, International Labor Organization, 2008). She has co-edited five books—Social Theory (with M. Sarakinsky, Heinemann, 1994), Critical Systems Thinking (with R. Flood, Plenum, 1996); Balancing Individualism and Collectivism (with J. McIntyre-Mills and Y. Corcoran-Nantes, Springer, 2017); Mixed Methods and Cross-Disciplinary Research Towards Cultivating Eco-systemic Living (with J. McIntyre-Mills, Springer, 2019, in press); and Democracy and Governance for Resourcing the Commons (with J. McIntyre-Mills and Yvonne Corcoran-Nantes, Springer, 2019, in press).

She has published more than 100 research articles exploring, inter alia: ways in which research can be practised accountably in view of social and ecological justice concerns; options for stretching/extending research “paradigms”; implications of reviewing researcher-practitioner relations in the process of research; research as facilitative of co-generative learning; and retroductive logic as tied to imagining (new) futures. She has collaborated in (and offered ethical considerations concerning the way of handling) a range of research projects aimed at increasing equity for organizations such as the ILO, ADEA, IOM, and UNESCO.