Professor Elena Moore


MA, PhD Trinity College, Dublin

Consultation Times:
(by appointment) 
Please email me in advance.

I am a sociologist, specialising in the sociology of the family with a Masters degree in Applied Social Research and a PhD from Trinity College Dublin. I am currently working on a project on Intergenerational Relationships in South Africa: A study of family responsibilities and obligations. I recently authored a book on Divorce, Families and Emotion Work and I co-authored a book in 2015 on customary marriage, divorce and intestate succession. My work has appeared in The Journal of Family Issues; Gender & Society; Families, Relationships and Societies and The Journal of Southern African Studies. My principal research interests lie in the field of personal life, kinship, gender, intergenerational relations, customary law,  family law and policy, feminist theories, biographical methods and mixed methods.


Moore, E (2016) Divorce, Families and Emotion Work: 'Only Death Will Make Us Part'. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Himonga, C and Moore, E (2015) South African Reform of Customary Marriage, Divorce and Intestate Succession: Living Customary Law and Social Realities. Cape Town. Juta. Read the Summarised Research Report here.

Edited Books

Moore, E (2022) Generation, Gender and Negotiating Custom in South Africa. London, Routledge.

Editorship Journal Special Issue

2019. Social Protection, Intergenerational Relationships and Conflict in South Africa. Special Issue of Critical Social Policy (Co-edited with Jeremy Seekings).  Vol 39(4)

Recent Publications

Cantillon, S. Moore, E and Teasdale, N (2021) Covid-19 and the pivotal role of grandparents:  childcare and income support in South Africa and the UK. Feminist Economics. DOI: 10.1080/13545701.2020.1860246

Moore, E (2020) Financing Social Reproduction:  Women’s responsibilities in financing and undertaking household social reproduction in multigenerational households in South Africa. Revue internationale des études du développement. Care, inégalités et politiques aux Suds  Special Issue on Care, Inequalities and Policies in the Global South]. 242 (2) 37-62.

Cantillon, S. Moore, E and Teasdale, N. (2020) Covid-19 and the pivotal role of grandparents:  childcare and income support in South Africa and the UK. Feminist Economics

Moore, E. (2020). Financing Social Reproduction. Women’s Responsibilities in Financing and Undertaking Household Social Reproduction in Multigenerational Households in South Africa. Revue internationale des études du développement, 242(2), 37-62.

Moore, E (2019) Who has a duty to support? Care practices and legal responsibilities in South Africa. Critical Social Policy. Vol 39(4)582-598

Moore E and Seekings J (2019) Consequences of Social Protection on Intergenerational Relationships in South Africa. Critical Social Policy. Vol 39(4) 513-524

Moore, E. (2019) My husband has to stop beating me and I shouldn’t go to the police”: Family meetings, patriarchal bargains and marital violence in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. Violence Against Women (

Button, K., Moore, E., & Seekings, J. (2018). “South Africa’s Hybrid Care Regime: The changing and contested roles of individuals, families and the state after apartheid.” Current Sociology, Special Issue: "Global Sociology of Care and Care Work": 66(4) 602–616

Moore, E. & Himonga, C (2017) Centring the intersection of race, class, and gender when a customary marriage ends: An intersectional critique of the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act of 1998

Moore, E (2016) Delaying Divorce: Pitfalls of Restrictive Divorce Requirements. Journal of Family Vol. 37(16) 2265–2293.

Button, K. Moore, E. Himonga, C (2016) South Africa’s system of dispute resolution forums: The role of the family and the state in customary marriage dissolutionJournal of Southern African Studies. 42 (2) 299-316

Moore, E. (2015) Forms of Femininity at the End of a Customary MarriageGender & Society. 29 (6) 817-840.

Seekings, J. & Moore, E. (2014) Kinship, market and state in the provision of care in South Africa. In: Soziale Welt Sonderband 20, Nomos: Baden-Baden. pp. 435--451

Moore, E. (2013) Transmission and Change in South African Motherhood: Black Mothers in Three-Generational Cape Town FamiliesJournal of Southern African Studies, 39 (1)

Moore, E (2012) Paternal Banking and Maternal Gatekeeping: Gendered Practices in Post-divorce FamiliesJournal of Family Issues. 33 (6)

Moore, E. (2012) From traditional to companionate marriages: women's changing experience of marriage and divorce in IrelandFamlies, Relationships and Societies 1(3):345-360. 

Moore, E. (2012) Renegotiating Roles Post-Divorce: A decisive break from tradition? Journal of Divorce and Remarriage. 53 (5)

Moore, E. Timonen, V. Dwyer, C. and Doyle, M. (2012) Divorce and Intergenerational Support: Comparing the Perceptions of Divorced Adults and Their ParentsJournal of Comparative Family Studies. 43 (2)

Topics interested in supervising

I am primarily interested in supervising research that is focussed on social change in personal life, inequalities in family life and the relationship between families and the state. This could include research on intergenerational relationships, family or child policy, customary marriage, divorce, division of labour and resources in households, transnational families, lone motherhood etc. I will supervise projects in any aspect of personal life, intimacy, gender and generational relationships, family, sexual relationships, and/or social change. I am trying to develop more work on ‘intergenerational relationships’ in South African families, in particular, I am interested in supervising anything which investigates the importance of intergenerational relationships and how they link the lives and trajectories of different generations. I am also very interested in supervising socio-legal work on marriage, divorce and succession.