Current Institutional Affiliation
Associate Professor, Applied Social Sciences, Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 1998
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Anthropology, University of Washington
Development, Contradictions, and the Specter of Disposability: Rural Migrant Women in Search of Self-development in Post-Mao China

Situated in the context of the largest-ever rural-to-urban movement of labor, this project investigates the interaction in post-socialist Chinese society between structure and agency in the process of female domestic worker (baomu) mig¾ation. Employing both quantitative and qualitative analysis, this project will examine the structure/agency interaction on the macro political economy, household structure and power dynamics, and social network levels. The project will examine how urbanite employers, in the baomu's place of destination, construct them as gendered, ethnicized and classed subjects and how baomu themselves construct the meaning of their work, identity and mobility. Drawing on recent theories of labor migration in sociology and geography and anthropological studies of paid domestic work, this research will contribute to the rapid-growing migration scholarship and oh-going theorization of domestic work and worker identities.