Brown Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice

Talk with Prof. Rhacel Salazar Parreñas

Thursday, November 12, 2015
4:00 PM
Kassar Fox Auditorium
151 Thayer Street 

Eating in Dubai: The Labor Conditions of Migrant Domestic Workers

This talk describes how the absence of labor protection in the United Arab Emirates has resulted in a diversity of labor experiences among domestic workers. Variations are established via a discussion of the eating patterns of domestic workers, whose experiences fall into three categories of eating: a) dehumanization; b) infantilization; c) recognition. Recognizing variations in food consumption questions static generalizations of domestic workers in countries considered worst destinations as victims of human trafficking while raising the question of why the absence of labor protection has not resulted in their rampant abuse. As argued, morals mediate their labor and reduces the likelihood of abuse.



Rhacel Salazar Parreñas is Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies at the University of Southern California. She is currently a Deutsche Bank Member of the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study. The author of five books and numerous peer reviewed articles, her research focuses on the intersections of labor migration and human trafficking. She has received funding from the National Science Foundation, Ford Foundation, and Rockefeller Foundation.