Rhacel Salazar Parrenas

Florence Everline Professor of Sociology and Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies
Email parrenas@usc.edu Office HSH 314 Office Phone (213) 740-3533


Rhacel Salazar Parreñas teaches sociology, gender and sexuality studies at the University of Southern California. She is an ethnographer whose current research empirically focuses on contemporary experiences of servitude and engages theories of freedom and morals to analyze the constitution of migrant workers as “unfree” laborers. Her areas of research include labor, gender, international migration, the family and economic sociology.

An author of numerous articles and books, her seminal works include the monographs Servants of Globalization: Migration and Domestic Work, Illicit Flirtations: Labor, Migration and Sex Trafficking in Tokyo, and Children of Global Migration: Transnational Families and Gendered Woes. She is the co-editor of the Stanford University Press Book Series on Globalization in Everyday Life.

In 2019, her research contributions to Sociology were recognized with the Jessie Bernard Award by the American Sociological Association, which is given “in recognition of scholarly work that has enlarged the horizons of sociology to encompass fully the role of women in society.” For her commitment to transformative scholarship and work with various organizations including Human Rights Watch and Pilipino Worker’s Center of Los Angeles, she received the 2018 Feminist Activist Award from the ASA Sex and Gender Section. Her mentorship of junior scholars and extensive work towards helping diversify higher education were recognized in 2020 with a Mentoring Award from Sociologists for Women in Society.

Professor Parreñas has received research funding from the Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, and National Science Foundation, and fellowships from the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University and the Institute for Advanced Study. Her writings have been translated into Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, and Spanish. She has given keynote and named lectures in over 20 countries.

An active evaluator of external fellowships and grants, she has participated in review panels for the National Science Foundation, the Ford Foundation Fellowship Program, American Council of Learned Societies, Fulbright, and the Social Science Research Council.

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

In 2019, she was elected Vice President of the American Sociological Association. 

More information about Professor Parreñas is available at rhacelparrenas.com


  • 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
    • President’s Postdoctoral Fellow, UCLA, 1998-2000