Dr. James Rice

International Political Economy, Environmental Sociology, Theory

Dr. Rice

Contact Information

Office: Science Hall 292B

Curriculum Vitae  


Ph.D. – Washington State University, 2006


Dr. Rice is a professor of sociology at NMSU. He received his Ph.D. from Washington State University in 2006.


One crucial dimension of the exercise of power in modern societies is the capacity to alter the biophysical environment without having to account for the deleterious effects imposed on others. Often, these observable effects are rendered difficult to see through symbolic erasure as embodied in rhetorical strategies that distance those in positions of power from the repeatable dynamics their decisions and non-decisions generate.

My research and teaching focuses on bridging environmental, medical, urban, and organizational sociology to illustrate how power and inequality are enacted through environmental change. Such changes are then expressed in the socio-economic and health disparity outcomes of marginalized populations. Power is the capacity to alter the natural environment in pursuit of economic production or expansion of military activities while sidestepping culpability for the negative consequences, and there are few disciplines in academia better situated to untangle such dynamics than sociology. In one manner or another, power and inequality is often at the heart of contemporary social, economic, and environmental issues of concern.