Essential Labor: Asian American Women Workers and the Intersectional Politics of Incorporation

Awarded Scholars:
Christian Phillips, University of Southern California
Project Date:
Mar 2021
Award Amount:
$30,000

The lenses through which Americans view the politics of the Coronavirus pandemic are arguably different for individuals required to perform essential work (paid or not), and individuals working in other industries and job types. How have these lenses shaped their political views, engagement and interest in politics? This study will investigate these questions by analyzing the political attitudes and behavior of Filipina American women, using a survey with embedded experiments. It is the first phase of a broader project that will eventually include two additional groups of Asian American women (Korean and Indian Americans) who are overrepresented among distinct categories of essential workers. Focusing on three groups that encompass a significant proportion of first-generation immigrants will also allow the project to speak to a more expansive, but significantly understudied question: how does work serve as a mechanism for political socialization and incorporation?

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