Ariel Ducey image

Ariel Ducey, PhD


Graduate Program Director

Faculty of Arts , Department of Sociology

Contact information

Web presence

Phone number

Office: +1 (403) 220-5054


Educational Background

B.A. Cultural Studies, University of Minnesota, 1994

Doctor of Philosophy Sociology, City University of New York, 2004


Areas of Research

Work, Technology, Medicine and Health, Care and Affect

Participation in university strategic initiatives


Course number Course title Semester
SOCI 321 LEC 01 01 Sociology Of Health & Illness 2021


Data, Touch, Technology and Medical Care

Principal Investigator, New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF) Exploration Grant, “Data, Touch, Technology and Medical Care” (2020-23), $246,861. Co-PI: Martina Kelly, Department of Family Medicine, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary. Co-Investigator: Pratim Sengupta, Department of Learning Sciences, Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary.


Moral Economies of Surgery

Principal Investigator, Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Catalyst Grant: Ethics, “Moral Economies, Ethics, and Improving Health Care: A Qualitative Study of the Adoption of Devices and Procedures in Pelvic Floor Surgery” (2015-2017), $98,883. Co-investigators: Sue Ross (University of Alberta), Magali Robert (University of Calgary), Barry Hoffmaster (University of Western Ontario).

Frontline Care Work

My 2009 book, Never Good Enough (Cornell University Press), examines frontline health care work in New York City and the politics of a state-funded training industry for frontline health care providers, which was vastly expanded in the late 1990s as part of a Faustian bargain between the powerful private sector health care labor union (SEIU 1199), politicians and health care executives to compensate for the effects of neoliberal healthcare restructuring and deteriorating working conditions. It is a story of how frontline care providers, primarily women of color and immigrants working as nursing assistants, were making a living and carving out meaning and opportunity at the intersection of two industries — health care and education — both of which were being increasingly privatized and organized according to the logic of markets.

Affect, Embodiment and Sensory Politics

See my website and related publications, including:

Ducey, Ariel. “More Than a Job: Meaning, Affect, and Training Health Care Workers,” Pp. 187-208 in The Affective Turn: Theorizing the Social, Patricia Clough and Jean Halley, eds., Duke University Press, 2007.

Sengupta, Pratim, Ariel Ducey, Martina Kelly, Erin Knox. “Moral Horizons of Pain,” Canadian Theatre Review, forthcoming, 2023.

Ducey, Ariel, Claudia Donoso, Sue Ross, Magali Robert. “The (Commercialised) Experience of Operating: Embodied Preferences, Ambiguous Variations and Explaining Widespread Patient Harm,” Sociology of Health and Illness, 45(2): 346-365, 2023.

Dutta, Santanu, Pratim Sengupta, Ariel Ducey. “Sensing Someone Else’s Pain: Ethical Historical Traces of Disciplined Interactions in Medical Care,” Proceedings of the 16th International Conference of the Learning Sciences, ICLS 2022, Hiroshima Japan.




  • Teaching Excellence Award, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Calgary, 2009
  • Honourable Mention, Students’ Union Teaching Excellence Awards, University of Calgary, 2006