Kathleen Rice

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

Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine
Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in the Medical Anthropology of Primary Care

Kathleen (Kate) Rice holds the SSHRC-funded Tier II Canada Research Chair in the Medical Anthropology of Primary Care. She earned her doctorate in Anthropology at the University of Toronto (2015), and prior to her appointment at McGill she was a CIHR-funded Postdoctoral Fellow at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. She has previously held appointments at the Ki Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St Michael’s Hospital (Toronto), the Centre for Health Services Sciences at Sunnybrook Hospital (Toronto), and in the Social Aspects of HIV Unit of the Human Sciences Research Council (Cape Town, South Africa).

Kathleen’s theoretical and methodological expertise are in the areas of social theories of power and inequity, and ethnography. Her research 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. Her specific areas of topical focus include rural and remote health, gender, generation, human rights, HIV/AIDS, chronic pain, pregnancy and birth, and medical education. Her areas of geographic focus are Southern Africa, and urban and rural Canada. 

Kathleen currently holds a SSHRC Insight Development Grant entitled "Migration, Mines, and Marginalization: An Ethnography of Transformation in Ontario Resource Towns,” which focuses on the health and social care needs of low-income migrants who, having been priced out of housing in Southern Ontario, are now migrating to economically-depressed resource communities in Northwestern Ontario. She was also  recently awarded the Hunt Fellowship from the Wenner-Gren Foundation to fund the completion of her book, provisionally titled Rights and Responsibilities: Gender, Personhood, and the Crisis of Meaning in Rural South Africa. Most recently, she has embarked on a new research project that aims to capture experiences of pregnancy and birth during the pandemic, connecting these experiences to pandemic-related policy changes, thereby identifying barriers to good care.

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

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.

Rice K. (2020) What does it mean to be a good neighbour? Social Anthropology (Special Issue: Urgent Anthropological COVID-19 Forum), 28 (2): 340-341.

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.

Assistant Professor
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