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Michelle Phillips: Repairing (and Exploiting) the Underclass Image

Michelle Phillips spent her Fulbright year in Taiwan to research on the maid trade system and compares it with the one in Hong Kong. Because of her multilingual background, she can act as a bridge between employers and domestic workers. After trust was built with the domestic workers, she successfully interviewed over 150 people in total. Later, she will bring the experiences and observations from her research to propose changes in Taiwan, Indonesia, Hong Kong, and the Philippines regarding better protections for migrant workers and their employers.

Michelle Phillips is a 4th-year Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology at UC Berkeley. Her current research is focused on the intersection of business, politics and human rights, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. She is focusing on questions ranging from the role of the state in international trade and migration, the effectiveness of certain policies as well as their unintended consequences, and the impact of business interests on the implementation and consistency of government intervention. In an increasingly interconnected global economy, she believes it is crucial to understand what motivates the people behind these institutions, as well as the de facto impact of strategies they implement.

 

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