Yolisa Bomela

Yolisa Faith Bomela (BA, UED, BeD; BA(Hons) (UFH); MA (Psychology) (RU)) is a Counselling Psychologist registered with HPCSA.

She started her career as a teacher in numerous schools in the Eastern Cape. After 10 years of teaching she left the classroom to take up positions in administration until she finally left the Department of Education in February 2020.

Her previous research was in the field of inclusive education under the Supervision of the Distinguished Professor Catriona Macleod at Rhodes University. The research title is Teacher’s Talk about Inclusion: A Comparative Discursive study. In this study, the talk of educators involved in piloting inclusive education is compared to that of educators who are not involved, in order to determine the discourses from which educators draw in their construction of inclusive education. It is a comparative study premised on the social constructionist perspective in which discourse analysis was employed.

She is currently a PhD student in the Critical Studies in Sexualities and Reproduction. Her research topic is The Maternal Health Service Nexus and Teenage Mothers: A Foucauldian Ethnographic Analysis. This research endeavours to investigate the reproductive health service nexus surrounding teen-aged mothers accessing postnatal care, including the interface between these individuals and health service providers. More specifically, the formal and informal practices that cohere around reproductive health provision, and resistance to or compliance with injunctions around reproductive health and the discourses that underpin the notion of ‘teenage motherhood’ is the focus of this study.

Conference Presentations

Conference: The 9th Biennial International Society of Critical Health Psychology Conference held in Grahams town, South Africa, in July 2015.

Presentation Title: Negotiating access to the problematized subject.

This paper was presented jointly with Tracey Feltham-King and Catriona Macleod as part of a three paper symposium. It was based on our ethnography at public antenatal and postnatal clinics where we collected data from a variety of sources constituting the reproductive healthcare nexus, including interviews with teenaged pregnant and mothering women. We discussed the complexities of trying to propose these interviews to the University ethics committee and difficulties in gaining access to the state healthcare facilities. We also consider a recurring disjuncture in our negotiations for access. The teenaged subject we imagined and anticipated in our research proposal contradicted the already problematized subject the gatekeepers assumed we were going to meet. Further, while our intention was to focus on the myriad aspects of the context which contributed to the construction of the reproductive teenaged subject, the enduring assumption was that our focus should and would be on the individual teenaged pregnant or mothering woman. In our presentation we discussed balancing these contradictory assumptions and strategies to avoid re-inscribing the taken-for-granted existing institutional hierarchical power relations.


The following chapter was co-authored for The Palgrave Handbook of Ethics in Critical Research and is published as follows:

Feltham-King, T., Bomela, Y., & Macleod, C. (2018). Contesting the nature of young pregnant and mothering women: Critical healthcare nexus research, ethics committees, and healthcare institutions. The Palgrave Handbook of Ethics in Critical Research. pp: 63-79


Last Modified: Mon, 03 Aug 2020 16:36:43 SAST