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Maureen Murney

Maureen Murney

Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream

Phone: 647-601-4458
Location: HL 224


Maureen Murney is an Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream in the Department of Health and Society. Drawing upon social-cultural, medical and linguistic anthropology, both her teaching and research centre on notions of social justice, morality, identity-making and citizenship, as well as the ambiguities involving access to and the utilization of health care and health knowledge in Canada and Ukraine. Dr. Murney also currently holds a postdoctoral fellowship at the Max Rady College of Medicine, University of Manitoba (with Dr. Marissa Becker). Working on the social-scientific component of a CIHR-funded project, she is analyzing survival strategies and identity-making among women experiencing HIV/HCV risk, violence, and other vulnerabilities in Dnipro, Ukraine, 200 km from the conflict zone.

Dr. Murney completed her PhD in Social-Cultural Anthropology at the University of Toronto. Her doctoral work was based upon 14 months of ethnographic research in Ukraine, and focused on gendered practices and ideologies of substance use, abuse and addiction. She held a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Social Equity and Health Research at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. She has worked with the Office of Transformative Global Health at CAMH, as qualitative co-investigator on a multi-phase project that examined mental illness and substance use-related stigma and discrimination in primary health care settings across Toronto, with the aim to develop tailored capacity-building interventions. In addition, Dr. Murney has taught seminars in qualitative methods and analysis to health professionals and visiting scholars from across Latin America and the Caribbean, as part of an intensive Summer Research Institute, offered by CAMH in collaboration with the Comision Interamericana para el Control del Abuso de Drogas/Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD).


  • The Canadian Anthropology Society/La Société Canadienne d’Anthropologie (CASCA)
  • American Anthropological Association (AAA)
    • Society for Medical Anthropology
    • Society for Psychological Anthropology
    • Society for the Anthropology of Europe
    • SOYUZ – The Research Network for Postsocialist Cultural Studies


Teaching Interests

Dr. Murney’s objectives as an educator are two-fold. On the one hand, teaching involves communicating facts, concepts, and theory inherent to the material being taught. On the other hand, the more demanding and rewarding task of the teacher is to cultivate exploratory, problem solving, and critical thinking skills that students can take with them. Anthropology is the holistic study of humanity, and as an anthropologist, her aim is to challenge students’ (and her own) culturally-based assumptions about what is ‘normal’ or ‘natural,’ and then encourage understanding and a willingness to collaborate with others. Courses taught at UTSC include:

  • HLTA03 Foundations in Health Studies II
  • HLTB40 Health Policy and Health Systems
  • HLTB42 Perspectives on Culture, Illness and Healing
  • HLTC22 Health, Aging and the Life Cycle
  • HLTC23 Issues in Child Health and Development
  • HLTC48 Special Topics in Health Studies: Global Perspectives on Mental Health and Substance Use
  • HLTD23 Special Topics in Health: Global Perspectives on Mental Health and Illness
  • ANTB19 Varieties of Social Life
  • ANTC19 Producing People and Things: Economics and Social Life
  • ANTC20 Gifts, Money and Morality
  • ANTC61 Medical Anthropology: Illness and Healing in Cultural Perspective


Research Interests

  • stigma and discrimination
  • mental health and substance use
  • utilization of health care and health knowledge
  • health in Canada
  • health in socialist/postsocialist contexts
  • gender, reproduction, and identity
  • nationalism and social-cultural transformation
  • health in conflict zones
  • ethnography/qualitative research methods
  • critical social theory

Awards & Grants

  • Lorna Marshall Doctoral Fellowship in Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Toronto (2007-8)
  • Lupina/OGS Doctoral Fellowship, Comparative Program on Health and Society, Munk Centre for International Studies, University of Toronto (2006-7)
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Doctoral Fellowship (2004-6)
  • Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, Inc., Dissertation Fieldwork Grant (2004-5)
  • Jeffrey S. Friedland Ontario Graduate Scholarship in Anthropology (2003-4)


Selected Publications

Murney, Maureen A., Jaime C. Sapag, Sireesha Bobbili, and Akwatu Khenti. 2020. Stigma and discrimination related to mental health and substance use issues in primary health care in Toronto, Canada: A qualitative study. International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being 15(1):1744926. DOI: 10.1080/17482631.2020.1744926