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Researcher / Research team

Rhacel Parrenas


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.



Phone number

(213) 740-3533




migration, gender, families, Intimacy, Economic Globalization, Women and Work, Feminist Theory, Asian American Studies, Philippines and Southeast Asian Studies

Economic sectors

Home support workers, housekeepers and related occupations

Geographical focuses

United States


English, Spanish, and Tagalog