Research interests:

Biomedicine; ethnographic methodologies; cancer; pain; patient’s experience; children; families; palliative care; end-of-life process; quality and dignity of life; subjectivity; studies of the body

I am a PhD Candidate in the Department of Anthropology at UBC under the Supervision of Dr. Bill McKellin. My main interests are biomedical knowledge and practices, children, corporal experience of medical treatments, and the perils and promises of cancer treatment for children in a Latin American context. I am particularly interested in the multidimensional strategies in relation to the provision of (social and medical) care to children experiencing cancer, and the distinct experience children, families, and different health professionals come across in their everyday lives. My dissertation is based on ethnographic research on a local clinic site in Argentina and asks questions about subjectivity, capacity for action, the body, social care, and the limits to medical knowledge and practice placing children’s bodies as the focal point of my analysis.

Wainer, Rafael. 2004. “‘Yo No Te Puedo Decir Cuánto Sino Cómo’. Construcción Y Manejo de La Esperanza En El Final de La Vida, Desde La Perspective Profesional de Un Equipo de Cuidados Paliativos.” Anuario de Estudios en Antropología Social 1 187–97.

Wainer, Rafael. 2007. “Acompañando a La Gente En El Último Momento de Su Vida: Reflexiones En Torno a La Construcción Paliativista de La Dignidad En El Final de La Vida.” Runa 28:111–40.

Wainer, Rafael. 2008. “La Bio-Política de Los Transplantes O ¿Qué Está Detrás de La ‘Salvación de Vidas’?.” Cuadernos del Instituto Nacional de Antropología y Pensamiento Latinoamericano 22:251–54.

Wainer, Rafael. 2009. “Sobre acciones, silencios y un sentido de humor particular en un equipo de cuidados paliativos.” AIBR, Revista de Antropología Iberoamericana 4(3):409–42.

Roman, Leslie G., Sheena Brown, Steven Noble, Rafael Wainer, and Alannah Earl Young. 2009. “No Time for Nostalgia!: Asylum‐making, Medicalized Colonialism in British Columbia (1859–97) and Artistic Praxis for Social Transformation.” International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education 22(1):17–63.

Wainer, Rafael. 2011. “Death, Dying, and Biomedicine: ‘Thinking with Film’ as a Teaching Resource for Medical Anthropologists.” Anthropology News. Society for Medical Anthropology Section. 52(9):40.

Wainer, Rafael. 2013. “The Dignity of Children: How to Evaluate Bodies’ (Im)Permeability.” Pp. 61–78 in Reframing Disability and Quality of Life, Social Indicators Research Series, edited by Narelle Warren and Lenore Manderson. Springer Netherlands. (

Winter 2016

SOCI240A Introduction to Social Interaction - SOCL INTERACTION Sections

A general introduction to research on social interaction, with an emphasis on group (as opposed to individual) processes and behaviour. Topics include: status, power and prestige, distributive justice, marginality and social control, authority relations, and group structure and membership, all to be studied in the context of a variety of groups (such as families, formal organizations, communities and friendship groups) and cultures.

Winter 2016

SOCI473A Sociology of Mental Illness - MENTAL ILLNESS Sections

A sociological approach to the meaning of mental illness; the organization of psychiatric treatment; problems in the explanation of the distribution of mental illness in a population.

Ph.D. Candidate in Anthropology, UBC

M.A. in Anthropology, UBC, 2008

Lic. in Anthropology, University of Buenos Aires, 2003