Rhacel Salazar Parreñas

                          Professor of Sociology

Contact Information
E-mail: parrenas@usc.edu
Phone: (213) 740-1082
Office: KAP 352

Curriculum Vitae

Biographical Sketch

Rhacel Salazar Parreñas is a professor of sociology at the University of Southern California. 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. Her research has been featured in various news media outlets including the 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 edited three anthologies and written four monographs as well as numerous peer-reviewed articles. Her latest book is the co-edited volume Intimate Labors: Cultures, Technologies and the Politics of Care (Stanford, 2011). She has received research funding from the Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, and National Science Foundation. Her work is translated in French, Spanish, Italian, German, Polish, Korean, and Japanese.


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

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

Detailed Statement of Research Interests

Rhacel Salazar Parreñas is a qualitative sociologist who relies on participant-observation and in-depth interviews to conduct theoretically-informed substantive research on the feminization of labor and migration in globalization. She has done fieldwork in Italy, Japan, the Philippines, and United States. Her research considers how processes of globalization simultaneously reinforce and challenge traditional gender norms. In her past projects, she examined the experiences of  migrant Filipina domestic workers in Rome and Los Angeles, Filipina migrant entertainers in Tokyo, and children in transnational migrant families in the Philippines. Her latest book, Illicit Flirtations: Labor, Migration and Sex Trafficking in Tokyo (Stanford University Press, 2011), describes the experience of "indentured mobility" among migrant Filipina hostesses and bridges current discussions on human trafficking and "gender and migration." She is currently working on a cross-national research project comparing the bonded servitude of migrant care workers in Denmark, the United States, and United Arab Emirates. 

Funded Research

Contracts and Grants Awarded
  • 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   


  • 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.
  • 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.

Honors and Awards

  • Residency at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, 2010-2011   
  • 2009 Korenman Lecture, University of Maryland, 11/5/2009  
  • 2008 Association for Asian American Studies Social Science Book Award , 2008-2009   
  • Hawke Public Forum Lecture; Adelaide, Australia, 6/3/2009  
  • 2007 Annual Hansen Lecture, San Diego State University, 2/22/2007  
  • 2006 Clark Lecture, University of Kansas, 10/9/2006  
  • Rockefeller Residential Fellowship - University of Hawaii, Spring 2005   
  • Ford Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2001-2002   
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship, 1994-1997  

  • Sociology
  • 851 Downey Way
  • HSH 314
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-2539