Club Lunch: Hong Kong’s Domestic Helpers and the Politics of International Labor
Speaker: Nicole Constable
Director of the Asian Studies Center and Professor of Anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh
MONDAY, JUNE 16, 2014
12:45pm – Lunch
1:15PM – ADDRESS
Topic: Hong Kong’s Domestic Helpers and the Politics of International Labor
Babies born of foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong are a “tiny problem.” Their numbers are especially small compared with the 320,000 foreign domestic workers, but they are far from insignificant. They serve as a window through which to see the unintended consequences of Hong Kong’s migrant worker laws and policies. Hong Kong, with its official employment contract and modern setting, is an attractive destination for migrant workers, but reality often contrasts with women’s dreams. What are the costs of migrant labor for the workers themselves? How do policies contribute to the problems faced by pregnant migrant workers? How can Hong Kong set examples for other migrant receiving countries to emulate? Nicole Constable’s latest book, Born out of Place: Migrant Mothers and the Politics of International Labor, based on sixteen months of research among migrant mothers in Hong Kong, addresses these and many other questions.
For over thirty years Nicole Constable has been visiting Hong Kong, first as a student and then as a researcher. She is Director of the Asian Studies Center and Professor of Anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh. She has authored or edited seven books about Hong Kong and Asian migration. Born out of Place: Migrant Mothers and the Politics of International Labor, has just been published by Hong Kong University Press and the University of California Press.