3rd Annual Korenman Lecture: Rhacel Parrenas

Gender Revolution in the Phillippines

November 5, 2009

Dr. Rhacel Parrenas
Professor of American Civilization and Sociology, Brown

In this year’s Korenman Lecture, Professor Parrenas talks about her work on the children of migrant workers. The lecture offers a comparative analysis of the Philippines case and that of Poland. According to Parrenas, “there has been recent surge of children being left behind in Romania, Poland, and other Eastern European nations by migrant domestic workers. Interestingly the moral backlash that Philippine society imposes on Filipina women for leaving their children behind in the Philippines is now mirrored in the experiences of many Eastern European migrant women”. She focuses on the question of gender and citizenship and examines the decline of the welfare state and the impacts of such a decline from a global perspective.

Rhacel Parrenas examines the feminization of labor and migration in globalization. She has done fieldwork in Italy, Japan, the Philippines, and United States. Her first book Servants of Globalization has been very widely praised. Work and Occupations said the book “Offers rich and timely analysis to reveal the lives of migrant domestic workers in the shadow of globalization. . . . Brilliant feminist sociological scholarship with theoretical sophistication, emotional sensitivity, and political commitment.” Her latest book, The Force of Domesticity (NYU Press, 2008) considers how processes of globalization simultaneously reinforce and challenge traditional gender norms. It draws from her research on migrant Filipina domestic workers in Rome and Los Angeles, migrant entertainers in Tokyo, and transnational migrant families in the Philippines.

Co-sponsored by the Social Sciences Forum.