Skip to main content
Skip to main menu Skip to spotlight region Skip to secondary region Skip to UGA region Skip to Tertiary region Skip to Quaternary region Skip to unit footer


Patricia Richards

Blurred image of the arch used as background for stylistic purposes.
Meigs Professor, Sociology and Women’s Studies

Dr. Patricia Richards, Professor of Sociology and Women's Studies, has been at the University of Georgia since 2002. She is an affiliated faculty member with the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Institute and the Institute of Native American Studies. She received a Ph.D. in Sociology from University of Texas - Austin in 2002. Her specialty areas include the sociology of gender; indigenous politics in Latin America; development; social movements, and qualitative methodology.

Dr. Richards's first book, Pobladoras, Indígenas and the State: Conflicts Over Women's Rights in Chile, was published in 2004 by Rutgers University Press. In the book, she examines how state policy shapes the promotion of women's interests but at the same time contribute to the marginalization of particular classes and racial-ethnic groups. The book contributes to understandings of how actors who differ by gender, class, and race/ethnicity are articulated into the nation under reestablished democracies.

Professor Richards's second book, Race and the Chilean Miracle: Neoliberalism, Democracy, and Indigenous Rights,was published by University of Pittsburgh Press in 2013. The book examines inter-cultural relations in the context of struggles over natural resources, multicultural policies, and indigenous rights in Southern Chile, documenting the ways that identity and development ideologies are reproduced and reinterpreted at the local level, and how systemic racism is articulated in the process.

Her new book, coauthored with Rebecca Hanson (University of Florida), is called Harassed: Gender, Bodies, and Ethnographic Fieldwork.  The book focuses on women ethnographers' experiences of sexual harassment while conducting field research, and examines what these experiences can tell us about the construction of ethnographic knowledge and our discipline more broadly. It is forthcoming in 2019 with the University of California Press.

  • Ph.D., Sociology, University of Texas at Austin, 2002
  • M.A., Sociology, University of Texas at Austin, 1998
  • B.A., Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1994
Selected Publications:
  • Rebecca Hanson and Patricia Richards, 2017. “Sexual Harassment and the Construction of Ethnographic Knowledge,” Sociological Forum, 32(3): 587–609.

  • Jeffrey A. Gardner and Patricia Richards, 2017. “The Spatiality of Boundary Work: Political-Administrative Borders and Maya-Mam Collective Identification,” Social Problems 64(3): 439–455,.

  • Patricia Richards.  2013.  Race and the Chilean Miracle: Neoliberalism, Democracy, and Indigenous Rights, University of Pittsburgh Press.

  • Patricia Richards.  2010. “Of Indians and Terrorists: How the State and Local Elites Construct the Mapuche in Neoliberal Multicultural Chile," Journal of Latin American Studies.
Of note:
  • osiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professorship, University of Georgia, 2018
  • Honorable Mention, Society for the Study of Social Problems Global Division Book Award, 2014 
  • Richard B. Russell Undergraduate Teaching Award, University of Georgia, 2008
  • Sandy Beaver Excellence in Teaching Award, University of Georgia, 2007
  • Willson Center for Humanities and Arts Research Fellowship, University of Georgia, 2004 & 2013

Support us

We appreciate your financial support. Your gift is important to us and helps support critical opportunities for students and faculty alike, including lectures, travel support, and any number of educational events that augment the classroom experience. Click here to learn more about giving.

Every dollar given has a direct impact upon our students and faculty.