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 an ethnographer whose research focuses on contemporary experiences of servitude and engages theories of freedom and morals to analyze the constitution of migrant workers as "unfree" laborers. Her areas of research include labor, gender, international migration, the family and economic sociology.
An author of numerous articles and books, her seminal works include the monographs Servants of Globalization: Migration and Domestic Work, Illicit Flirtations: Labor, Migration and Sex Trafficking in Tokyo, and Children of Global Migration: Transnational Families and Gendered Woes. She is the co-editor of the Stanford University Press Book Series on Globalization in Everyday Life.
In 2019, her research contributions to Sociology were recognized with the Jessie Bernard Award by the American Sociological Association, which is given "in recognition of scholarly work that has enlarged the horizons of sociology to encompass fully the role of women in society." For her commitment to transformative scholarship and work with various organizations including Human Rights Watch and Pilipino Worker's Center of Los Angeles, she received the 2018 Feminist Activist Award from the ASA Sex and Gender Section. Her mentorship of junior scholars and extensive work towards helping diversify higher education were recognized in 2020 with a Mentoring Award from Sociologists for Women in Society.