Brown Bag Lecture Series

Thursday, March 9th
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Rudder 404

Affective Empowerment and Domestic Workers in Beijing
Dr. Cara Wallis

In this talk, Dr. Cara Wallis analyzes the linkages between emotional labor, affect, and notions of voice and empowerment among a group of middle-aged domestic workers in Beijing. Based on several months of online and offline ethnography, the research explores the intersections between the women’s involvement in a drama club sponsored by an NGO and their personal use of social media. In both narrative spaces, affect is mobilized as a means of empowerment yet in diverse and often contradictory ways. The paper thus seeks to add to our understanding of the challenges of using various forms of media to amplify the voices of marginalized groups in the public sphere.


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