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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 and Chair of the Department of Sociology at the University of Southern California. She was previously in the faculty at Brown University, University of California-Davis, and University of Wisconsin, Madison. She is known for her work on women's labor and migration in economic globalization. She has received more than 100 invitations to share her work at universities, government and nongovernmental institutions, and research think-tanks throughout the United States, Europe and Asia, including the United Nations and the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. Her research has been featured in various news media outlets including NPR's The World, Bloomberg News, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, de Volkskrant, and American Prospect. Her dissertation was made into a documentary, The Chain of Love (2000), by the public broadcasting station VPRO-TV in the Netherlands.

Professor Parreñas has co-edited three anthologies and has written four monographs as well as numerous peer-reviewed articles. Her latest book Illicit Flirtations: Labor, Migration and Sex Trafficking in Tokyo (Stanford, 2011) won the Distinguished Book Award in the Labor and Labor Movements Section of the American Sociological Association. Examining the intersections of human trafficking and labor migration, her current research analyzes the constitution of unfree labor among migrant domestic workers in Dubai and Singapore.

She has received research funding from the Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, and National Science Foundation, and has received fellowship invitations from the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University and the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, NJ. 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 Hays (Korea and Japan Panel), and the Social Science Research Council (Selection Committee for the Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship).



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

Gender, Migration and the Work of Care: Comparative Perspectives (SSHRC (Canada)), Ito Peng, Rachel Silvey, Consultants: Rhacel Parrenas, Daniella Belanger, $2,840,000, 03/01/2013-02/28/2018  
"Comparative Analysis of Labor Relations and Legal Status," (National Science Foundation), Rhacel Parrenas, $200,000, 05/01/2014-04/30/2017  
Workshop on Intimate Industries in Asia (SSHRC (Canada)), Rachel Silvey, Rhacel Parrenas, $10,000, 2012-2013   
Intimate Labors (University of California Labor and Research Grant), Rhacel Parrenas, Eileen Boris, $20,000, 2007-2008   
Hostess Work (Ochanomizu University), Rhacel Parrenas, $50,000, 2005-2006   

USC Funding

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, 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.
Parrenas, Rhacel Salazar (Ed.). Migration and Forced Labor. New York City: Open Society. Soros Foundation
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

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


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

Service to the Profession

Administrative Appointments

Department Chair, 2012-2013   

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, 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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