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Rhacel Salazar Parrenas

Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies

Contact Information
Phone: (213) 740-3533
Office: KAP 352

Curriculum Vitae
Google Scholar - Citations
Faculty Spotlight

Biographical Sketch

Rhacel Salazar Parreñas is Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies at the University of Southern California. Previously, she was a tenure track faculty member at Brown University (Full), University of California-Davis (Associate to Full), and University of Wisconsin, Madison (Assistant).

Her areas of research include labor, migration, transnational feminism, economic sociology, gender and the family. Her earlier works examined the constitution of gender in women's migration and transnational household formations. Her more recent works focus on the intersections of human trafficking and labor migration and examine the experiences of "unfree" migrant workers, including migrant domestic workers in Dubai and Singapore and migrant sex workers in Tokyo. She analyzes how morals mediate the experience of unfree labor vis-a-vis the state, migrant community, and workplace, for example by examining how moral views on prostitution are negotiated by sex workers in the process of their labor migration or how the moral views of employers result in varying experiences for domestic workers who are outside the boundaries of legal protection.

Professor Parreñas has co-edited three anthologies and has written five monographs as well as numerous peer-reviewed articles. She has received research funding from the Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, and National Science Foundation, and fellowship invitations from the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University and the Institute for Advanced Study. Her work is translated into French, Spanish, Italian, German, Polish, Korean, and Japanese. She has participated in review panels for the National Science Foundation (GRFP Sociology and Geographic Sciences), the Ford Foundation Fellowship Program (Sociology), American Council of Learned Societies (Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship), Fulbright (Korea and Japan Panel), and the Social Science Research Council (Selection Committee for the Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship).

She is a former member of the university-wide tenure and promotions committee at Brown University and USC.



Ph.D. Comparative Ethnic Studies with a Designated Emphasis in Women, Gender and Sexuality, University of California, Berkeley, 5/1998
A.B. Peace and Conflict Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 5/1992

Postdoctoral Training

President's Postdoctoral Fellow, UCLA, 1998-2000  

Academic Appointment, Affiliation, and Employment History

Tenure Track Appointments

Professor of American Studies, Brown University, 2008-2010  
Professor of Asian American Studies, University of California, Davis, 2007-2008  
Associate Professor of Asian American Studies, University of California, Davis, 2003-2007  
Assistant Professor of Women's Studies, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 2000-2003  

Visiting and Temporary Appointments

Edith Kreeger Wolf Distinguished Professor of Women's Studies, Northwestern University , 05/2010  
Visiting Research Professor, University of South Australia, 05/2009  
Distinguished Research Professor of Gender Studies, Ochanomizu University, 2005-2006   

Description of Research

Research Specialties

Gender, Migration, Families, Intimacy, Economic Globalization, Women and Work, Feminist Theory, Asian American Studies, Philippines and Southeast Asian Studies

Funded Research

Contracts and Grants Awarded

Rethinking Korea’s Soft Power and Hard Power (The Academy of Korean Studies), Rhacel Parrenas, David Kang, Youngmin Choe, Chris Hanscom, Suk-Young Kim, Akira Lippit, $1,267,485, 09/01/2015-08/31/2020  
Gender, Migration and the Work of Care: Comparative Perspectives (SSHRC (Canada)), Ito Peng, Rachel Silvey, Consultants: Rhacel Parreñas, Danièle Bélanger, Brenda Yeoh, $2,840,000, 03/01/2013-02/28/2018  
"Comparative Analysis of Labor Relations and Legal Status," (National Science Foundation), Rhacel Parreñas, Senior Consultant: Rachel Silvey, $200,000, 05/01/2014-04/30/2017  
Workshop on Intimate Industries in Asia (SSHRC (Canada)), Rachel Silvey, Rhacel Parreñas, $14,000, 2012-2013   
Intimate Labors (University of California Labor and Research Grant), Rhacel Parreñas, Eileen Boris, $20,000, 2007-2008   
Hostess Work (Ochanomizu University), Rhacel Parreñas, $50,000, 2005-2006   

USC Funding

Center for International Studies Grant. 100 Year Anniversary of Sociology Department: Centennial celebration marked by a one and a half day conference on "rethinking race" with Howard Winant and Cecilia Menjivar as keynote speakers and 16 panelists from across the country , $7,500, 2015-2016   
Center for International Studies Grant. Conference on Human Trafficking: The conference links labor migration and human trafficking. Its goal is to refocus anti-trafficking campaigns from prosecuting traffickers to empowering groups susceptible to human trafficking. , $8,000, 2012-2013   
Social Justice Research Fellowship. Will I Ever Retire? The Plight of Elderly Caregivers in Los Angeles: Project examines the labor and security of elderly caregivers in the context of their exclusion from the Fair Labor Standards Act., $9,000, 2012-2013   
Advancing Scholarship in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Bonded Servitude of Foreign Domestic Workers in the US, UAE, and Denmark: Project compares the legal servitude of domestic workers in countries with different migrant and welfare regimes. It bridges discussions on female labor migration and human trafficking., $20,000, 2011-2012   



Parrenas, R. S. (2015). Servants of Globalization: Migration and Domestic Work, 2nd Edition. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
Parrenas, R. S. (2015). Special Issue on Technologies of Intimate Labor. (Rhacel Parrenas, Ed.). Essex, England: Sexualities.
Hoang, Kimberly and Parrenas, Rhacel Salazar (Ed.). (2014). Human Trafficking Reconsidered: Rethinking the Problem, Envisioning New Solutions. New York City: International Debate Education Association. Soros Foundation
Parrenas, Rhacel Salazar, Hung Thai and Rachel Silvey (Ed.). (2014). Special Issue on Intimate Industries. (Vol. 24, Houston, TX: positions: asia critique.
Parrenas, Rhacel, and Joon Kim (Ed.). (2011). Special Issue on Multicultural East Asia. (Vol. 37, Sussex, England: Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.
Parrenas, R. S. (2011). Illicit Flirtations: Labor, Migration and Sex Trafficking in Tokyo. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
Boris, Eileen and Parrenas, Rhacel Salazar (Ed.). (2010). Intimate Labors: Cultures, Technologies and the Politics of Care. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
Eileen Boris, Stephanie Gilmore, and Rhacel Parrenas (Ed.). (2010). Special Issue on Sexual Labors. (Vol. 13, Essex, England: Sexualities Journal.
Parrenas, R. S. (2008). The Force of Domesticity: Filipina Migrants and Globalization. New York, New York: New York University Press.
Parrenas, Rhacel Salazar and Lok Siu (Ed.). (2007). Asian Diasporas: New Conceptions, New Formations. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
Parrenas, R. S. (2005). Children of Global Migration: Transnational Families and Gendered Woes. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
Parrenas, R. S. (2001). Servants of Globalization: Women, Migration and Domestic Work. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Book Chapter

Parrenas, R. S. (2012). Partial Citizenship and the Ideology of Women's Domesticity in State Policies on Foreign Domestic Workers. 35th Congress of the German Society for Sociology (Vol. DGS Conference Edition). Frankfurt: DGS: Deutschen Gesellschaft Fur Soziologie.
Parrenas, R. S. (2012). "Sex Work as Care Work". Cuidados e cuidadoras: as varias faces do trabalho do "care".
Parrenas, R. S. (2011). The Gender Revolution in the Philippines: Migrant Mothering and Social Transformations. How Immigrants Impact their Homelands Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
Parrenas, R. S. (2010). Interview with Rhacel Parrenas. Sociologists Backstage: Answers to 10 Questions... New York: Routledge.
Parrenas, R. S. (2010). Partial Citizenship and the Ideology of Women's Domesticity in State Policies on Foreign Domestic Workers. Care und Migration pp. 127-140. Opladen, Germany: Verlag Barbara Budrich.
Boris, E., Parrenas, R. S. (2010). Introduction. pp. 1-12. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford.
Parrenas, R. S. (2009). Hostess Work: Negotiating the Morals of Money and Sex. Research in the Sociology of Work (Vol. 19). Bingley, England: Economic Sociology and Work.

Journal Article

Parrenas, R. S., Hwang, M., Lee, H. (2012). What is Human Trafficking?. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. Vol. 37 (4), pp. 1015-1029.
Parrenas, R. S. (2012). "The Indentured Mobility of Migrant Women: How Gendered Protectionist Laws Lead Hostesses to Forced Sexual Labor". Journal of Workplace Rights. Vol. 15 (3-4), pp. 327-339.
Parrenas, R. S. (2012). The Reproductive Labor of Migrant Workers. Global Networks. Vol. 12 (2), pp. 269-275.
Parrenas, R. S., Kim, J. (2011). Multicultural East Asia: An Introduction. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. Vol. 37 (10), pp. 7.
Parrenas, R. S., Kim, J. (2010). Multicultural East Asia: Introduction. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. Vol. 37 (10)
Hwang, M., Parrenas, R. S. (2010). Not Every Family: Selective Reunification in Contemporary U.S. Immigration Laws. International Labor and Working Class History. Vol. 78 (1), pp. 100-109.
Parrenas, R. S. (2010). Homeward Bound: The Circular Migration of Entertainers Between Japan and the Philippines. Global Networks. Vol. 10 (3), pp. 301-323.
Parrenas, R. S. (2010). Transnational Mothering: A Source of Gender Conflicts in the Family. University of North Carolina Law Review. Vol. 88 (5), pp. 1825-1856.
Boris, E., Gilmore, S., Parrenas, R. S. (2010). Sexual Labors: Interdisciplinary Perspectives Toward Sex as Work. Sexualities Journal. Vol. 13 (2), pp. 131-137.

Multimedia Scholarship and Creative Works

Op-Ed, Parreñas, Rhacel. "What I Learned by Being a Migrant Sex Worker (Part 2): Parrenas," Bloomberg View, Op-Eds, October 13, 2011 • Reprinted in Business Week, San Francisco Chronicle, and Manila Standard , 10/13/2011  
Op-Ed, "What I Learned by Being a Migrant Sex Worker (Part 1): Parrenas," Bloomberg View, Op-Eds, October 12, 2011 • Reprinted in Business Week, San Francisco Chronicle, and Manila Standard , 10/12/2011  

Honors and Awards

Invited Member as Lead Author of "Diasporic Families," International Panel on Social Progress, 2015-  
Residency at the Institute for Advanced Study, Deutsche Bank Member of the School of Social Science, 2015-2016   
Keynote Speaker, Ford Fellows Conference, Fall 2012   
American Sociological Association Distinguished Scholarly Book Award in the Area of Labor or Labor Movements, 2012  
Residency at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, 2010-2011   
Residency at the Institute for Advanced Study, declined, 2010-2011   
2008 Association for Asian American Studies Social Science Book Award , 2008-2009   
Rockefeller Residential Fellowship - University of Hawaii, Spring 2005   
Ford Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2001-2002   
National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship, 1994-1997  

Service to the University

Administrative Appointments

Chair, 08/16/2012-08/15/2015  


Member, Center for International Studies Advisory Committee, 2012-2015  
Member, Social Sciences Panel, University Committee on Appointments, Promotions and Tenure, 2012-2015  
Member, Graduate Council, 2013-2014   
Member, Social Sciences Personnel Committee, Dornsife College, Spring 2012   

Service to the Profession

Conferences Organized

Co-Organizer, Aging Across Borders: A Transnational Look at Just Social Policies of Care, University Club, An international conference in collaboration with Johannes Guttenburg University, Mainz, Germany, Spring 2014   
Co-Organizer, From Prosecution to Empowerment: Fighting Trafficking and Promoting the Rights of Migrants, USC, Davidson Hall, an international conference, 2012-2013   
Co-Organizer, Intimate Industries in Asia, Pacific Basin Institute at Pomona College, an international workshop, 2012-2013   
Co-Organizer, Intimate Labors, UC Santa Barbara , Fall 2007   

Editorships and Editorial Boards

Editorial Board, Social Politics, 01/2016-12/2019  
Editorial Board, Contexts, 07/01/2011-06/30/2014  
Associate Editor, Women's Studies International Forum, 2012-2013   
North America Regional Editor, Women's Studies International Forum, 2011-2012   

Professional Memberships

American Sociological Association, 01/01/1998-  
Association for Asian American Studies, 01/01/1998-  

Review Panels

Social Science Research Council, Selection Committee for Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship, 08/01/2014-08/01/2016  
American Council of Learned Societies, Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship, 2014-2015   
Fulbright, Fulbright Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad, 2014-2015   
National Science Foundation, Graduate Research Fellowship Office -Sociology and Geographic Sciences, 2012-2014  
Ford Fellows Program, Social Sciences Panel, 2010-2011   

Other Service to the Profession

Ford Regional Liaison - Caltech and USC, 06/01/2010-  
Ford Fellows Regional Liaison, Rhode Island and Connecticut, 2009-2010   
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