Kathleen Rice

Kathleen Rice
Contact Information
Email address: 
kathleen.rice [at] mcgill.ca

Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine
PhD (Anthropology, University of Toronto, 2015)
Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in the Medical Anthropology of Primary Care
Associate Member, Department of Anthropology
Associate Member, Department of Social Studies of Medicine
Associate Member, Global Health Program

Kathleen (Kate) Rice holds the SSHRC-funded Tier II Canada Research Chair in the Medical Anthropology of Primary Care. Her theoretical and methodological expertise are in the areas of social theories of power and inequity, and ethnography. In all her work, Kate aims to expose the underlying discourses, ideologies, and categories that shape healthcare, as well as the relations of power that underpin them. Driven by a commitment to high-quality, equitable care for all, her research program aims to improve the health of marginalized populations in particular, especially those grappling with social and economic change. Kate's specific areas of topical focus include rural and remote health, gender, human rights, chronic pain, pregnancy and birth, and medical education. Her areas of geographic focus are Southern Africa, and urban and rural Canada. 

In collaboration with a research team in South Africa, she is currently the Canadian PI on a CIHR and IDRC-funded project entitled "Ukuvula Isango: Women's Empowerment and Post-Pandemic Reconstruction in Rural South Africa." This project uses a "people's science" approach to address key issues related to the precarity of women in rural areas of South Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic as a starting point for post COVID-19 rebuilding. She is Co-PI on SSHRC-funded project entitled "Engaging people with lived experience of chronic pain within the context of social inequity: a critical realist evaluation of patient engagement in Canada" (https://www.pepr-partnership.org) and, in collaboration with colleagues at the Maison Bleue in Montreal, she carrying an ethnographic investigation of cultural safety in urban perinatal care. Her first book, entitled Rights and Responsibilities: Gender, Personhood, and the Crisis of Meaning in Rural South Africa, is available here: https://iupress.org/9780253066176/rights-and-responsibilities-in-rural-s...

Kathleen's publications can be found in a range of social science and biomedical journals. A recent selection include:

Rice, K. (2023). Re‐centering Relationships: Obstetric Violence, Health Care Rationalities, and Pandemic Childbirth in Canada. Medical Anthropology Quarterly 37, (1), 59-75

Rice K. (2023). Touching at Depth During the COVID-19 Pandemic: What Not Touching Babies Can Teach us about how to Improve Healthcare. Ars Medica, 7 (1), 1-13

Webster, F., Connoy L., Sud A., Rice K., Katz J., Pinto AD., Upshur R., Dale C. (2023). Chronic struggle: an institutional ethnography chronic pain and marginalization. The Journal of Pain. 24(3), 437-448.

Gagnon J, Mazaniello-Chezol M, Hamzeh J, Rice K. Strategies for Communicating Social Science and Humanities Research to Medical Practitioners, FQS Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 23 (2).

Rice K, Williams S. (2021) Women's postpartum experiences in Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic: a qualitative study. CMAJ open, 9(2), E556-E562.

Webster F, Rice K, & Sud A. (2020) A critical content analysis of media reporting on opioids: The social construction of an epidemic. Social Science & Medicine, 244, 112642.

Webster F, Rice K. (2019) Conducting Ethnographies in Primary Care: Methods Brief. Family Practice 36(4), 523-525.

Webster, F., Rice, K., Katz, J., Bhattacharyya, O., Dale, C., & Upshur, R. (2019) An ethnography of chronic pain management in primary care: The social organization of physicians’ work in the midst of the opioid crisis. PloS one, 14(5), e0215148.

Rice K, Eun Ryu J, Whitehead C, Katz J, Webster F. (2018) How work practices shape empathy: medical trainees’ experiences of treating people with chronic pain Academic Medicine, 93(5), 775-780.

Rice K. (2018) Understanding ukuthwala: bride abduction in the rural Eastern Cape, South Africa. African Studies, 77(3): 394-411

Rice K, Webster F. (2017) Care interrupted: Poverty, in-migration, and primary care in rural resource towns. Social Science & Medicine, 191: 77-83.

Rice K. (2017) Rights and Responsibilities in Rural South Africa: Implications for Gender, Generation, and Personhood. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 23 (41): 28-41.







PhD Scientist
Graduate Supervisor
Assistant Professor
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