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The Unfree Market of Care Work

February 9, 2023 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

The accelerated market of care has resulted in the increased dependency of families on migrant women’s labor. Yet this increased demand has not created a free market of care but instead an unfree market. Across the globe, countries that rely on migrant care workers have created an unfree labor regime of legal infantilization that render them dependents of the employer that sponsors their visa. Countries infantilize migrant care workers by legally binding them to one employer as a live-in worker with little flexibility to change employers. This is the case across the globe with Europe being no exception. My talk provides a global overview of the legal infantilization of migrant care workers, describes how this legal status renders them vulnerable to forced labor and human trafficking, and theorizes our understanding of their unfreedom.

About the speaker

Rhacel Salazar Parreñas is the Florence Everline Professor of Sociology and Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Southern California. She is a Visiting Professor at Princeton in 2022-2023. Her research engages the fields of labor, migration, gender, and globalization. She is currently writing a book The Trafficker Next Door: How Domestic Employers Exploit Forced Labor for Norton.

Unfree book cover that has an image of a women sweeping, beside a photo of Rhacel Salazar Parreñas.


February 9, 2023
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Event Category:


Balsillie School of International Affairs, 67 Erb Street West
Waterloo, ON N2L 6C2 Canada
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(226) 772-3001
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