University of Pittsburgh
February 13, 2008

Pitt Professor Reveals Inside Stories of Asian Domestic Workers With Latest Edition of Book

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—As middle-class Chinese women have entered the Hong Kong work force in unprecedented numbers over the past two decades, the demand for foreign domestic workers has soared. Approximately 150,000 individuals now serve two-year contracts, and the vast majority are women from the Philippines. University of Pittsburgh Professor Nicole Constable tells their stories in the recently released second edition of her 1997 book, "Maid to Order in Hong Kong," (Cornell University Press).

In this second edition, Constable, a professor of anthropology and associate dean of Graduate Studies and Research at Pitt, focuses on the many significant changes that have taken place in Asia over the course of the last decade. Using such events as the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s and the SARS outbreak of 2002 as a backdrop, Constable interweaves the individual stories of women with her social analysis of Asia's political, economic, and ethnic infrastructure.

Constable received her MA and PhD degrees from the University of California at Berkeley in 1989. Her geographical areas of specialization are China (with a focus on Hong Kong), and the Philippines. She also is the editor of "Cross-border Marriages: Gender and Mobility in Transnational Asia," (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005) and the author of "Christian Souls and Chinese Spirits," (University of California Press, 1994), "Romance on a Global Stage: Pen Pals," "Virtual Ethnography, and 'Mail Order' Marriages" (University of California Press, 2003), and "Guest People: Hakka Identity in China and Abroad" (University of Washington Press, 2005).