Unfree: Migrant Domestic Work in Arab States

Friday, Feb 25, 2022 | 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

VIRTUAL - Zoom Webinar

Zoom Webinar | Register here (free)

Rhacel Salazar Parreñas
Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies, University of Southern California 

Leslie Salzinger
Associate Professor, Gender and Women’s Studies, UC Berkeley

Rachel Silvey
Richard Charles Lee Director of the Asian Institute and Professor in the Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto


Lok Siu
Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies and Chair, Asian American Research Center, UC Berkeley
Sponsored by: Asian American Research Center. (Asian American Research Center is part of the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues.)
Co-sponsored by: Berkeley Interdisciplinary Migration Initiative and Center for Race and Gender

This event will be a discussion of Unfree: Migrant Domestic Work in Arab States (Stanford University Press 2021) by Rhacel Salazar Parreñas. The book examines the migrant domestic workers in the United Arab Emirates, focusing on women from the Philippines, who represent the largest domestic workforce in the country. Unfree shows how various stakeholders, including sending and receiving states, NGOs, inter-governmental organizations, employers and domestic workers, project moral standards to guide the unregulated labor of domestic work. Professor Parreñas will be joined by discussants Leslie Salzinger (UC Berkeley) and Rachel Silvey (University of Toronto) in a moderated conversation on the themes of the book.Unfree is available for purchase here. Save 20% (plus free shipping for North American orders) when you order via that link using discount code: UNFREE20-FM

Photo of Rhacel Salazar ParreñasRhacel Salazar Parreñas is Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies at the University of Southern California. Her areas of research include labor, gender, international migration and human trafficking, the family and economic sociology. She is an ethnographer who has conducted field work in Denmark, Italy, Japan, Philippines, Singapore and United Arab Emirates. Her research examines the experiences of migrant workers from the Philippines with a particular focus in the last decade on “hard to reach populations.”
While her earlier works examined the constitution of gender in women’s migration and transnational families, her last two projects have sought to document and examine the experiences of migrant workers identified by the U.S. Department of State as victims of human trafficking. Professor Parreñas has co-edited three anthologies and has written five monographs as well as numerous peer-reviewed articles.

Photo of Leslie SalzingerLeslie Salzinger is Associate Professor in the Gender and Women’s Studies Department at UC Berkeley. She got her PhD in Sociology at UC Berkeley. She writes and teaches on gender, capitalism, nationality, and race and their ongoing co-formations. Her empirical research is ethnographic, mostly focused on Latin America, especially Mexico. Her primary research questions address the cultural constitution of economic processes and the creation of subjects within political economies.

Professor Salzinger’s award-winning first book, Genders in Production: Making Workers in Mexico’s Global Factories, analyzed the gendered dimensions of transnational production. Her current work in progress, Model Markets: Peso Dollar Exchange as a Site of Neoliberal Incorporation, analyzes peso/dollar exchange markets as crucial gendered and raced sites for Mexico’s shift from “developing nation” to “emerging market.”

Photo of Rachel SilveyRachel Silvey is Richard Charles Lee Director of the Asian Institute and Professor in the Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto. She received her Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Washington, Seattle, and a dual B.A. from the University of California at Santa Cruz in Environmental Studies and Southeast Asian Studies. Professor Silvey is best known for her research on women’s labor and migration in Indonesia. She has published widely in the fields of migration studies, cultural and political geography, gender studies, and critical development.

Her major funded research projects have focused on migration, gender, social networks, and economic development in Indonesia; immigration and employment among Southeast Asian-Americans; migration and marginalization in Bangladesh and Indonesia; and religion, rights and Indonesian migrant women workers in Saudi Arabia.

This event is free and open to the public. If you require an accommodation for effective communication (ASL interpreting/CART captioning, alternative media formats, etc.) in order to fully participate in this virtual event, please contact aarc@berkeley.edu or (510) 642-0813 with as much advance notice as possible and at least 7-10 days in advance of the event.

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