"This book opens up a whole new conversation about minorities among minorities. Gurung describes the experiences of Nepali women who are marginalized as minorities among South Asian Americans."—Bandana Purkayastha, professor of sociology and Asian American studies, University of Connecticut
"Hamal Gurung presents us with a powerful ethnography of the lives of Nepali migrant women in the US. She weaves stories illustrating the use of co-ethnic networks to find employment as domestics, nannies, and restaurant workers. Her insightful analysis reveals the establishment of transnational families and communities. These women not only subvert traditional gender roles by engaging in activism to improve working conditions for domestic workers in New York and Boston but provide social and economic support to NGOs addressing social justice and human rights in the US and Nepal."—Mary Romero, Professor, Justice & Social Inquiry, School of Social Transformation, Arizona State University
"A well-written concise account of how and why well-educated Nepali women are migrating to the US and taking domestic service/ care jobs here. This work contributes new knowledge and challenges some theories about female migrants, suggesting that downward occupational mobility for these women serves their own purposes and those of their families and communities when looked at transnationally."—Karen Leonard, emeritus professor of anthropology, University of California, Irvine
"At present there are no books on the market that document the fascinating experiences of Nepali women in the United States. This is a necessary addition to the literature on gender, globalization, transnational migration, and informal work."—Anjana Narayan, assistant professor of sociology, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
"Nepali Migrant Women is a valuable addition to the scholarship on migration and labor, gender and power, and internationalism and offers new insights into the unique intersections of the unregulated economy for women working for co-ethnic employers."—Journal of Anthropological Research
"Chronicles the experiences of educated Nepali migrant women working in low-paid, informal jobs in U.S. metropolitan cities of Boston and New York. . . . Gurung’s work is rich in detail with personal narratives embedded in the larger discourse on immigrant women in the U.S. informal sector."—Work and Occupations Journal
"Overall this book deals in a very respectful and dignifying way with the lives, struggles, sacrifices, and achievements of middle-class Nepali migrant women working as domestic workers in the United States."—American Journal of Sociology
"Shobha Hamal Gurung does honor both to herself as a scholar and to the 35 women who generously shared their stories. We need more telling done from within women’s lives, and this book is an exemplary model."—Contemporary Sociology A Journal of Reviews
In this pathbreaking and timely work, Hamal Gurung gives voice to the growing number of Nepali women who migrate to the United States to work in the informal economy. Highlighting the experiences of thirty-five women, mostly college educated and middle class, who take on domestic service and unskilled labor jobs, Hamal Gurung challenges conventional portraits of Third World women as victims forced into low-wage employment. Instead, she sheds light on Nepali women’s strategic decisions to accept downwardly mobile positions in order to earn more income, thereby achieving greater agency in their home countries as well as in their diasporic communities in the United States. These women are not only investing in themselves and their families—they are building transnational communities through formal participation in NGOs and informal networks of migrant workers. In great detail, Hamal Gurung documents Nepali migrant women’s lives, making visible the profound and far-reaching effects of their civic, economic, and political engagement.
Shobha Hamal Gurung is associate professor of sociology at Southern Utah University.
Series: Gender and Globalization
6 x 9, 216 pages