Associate Professor Anju Paul is an international migration scholar with a research focus on migration to, from, and within Asia. She is especially interested in how gender, labour, race and ethnicity, as well as class intersect at the moment of migration and the post-migration experience.
Assoc Prof Paul graduated from the University of Michigan in 2012 with a joint PhD in Sociology and Public Policy. For her doctoral dissertation, Assoc Prof Paul conducted interviews in five countries — the United States, Canada, the Philippines, Hong Kong and Singapore — to explore emergent migration patterns and strategies being adopted by Filipino migrant domestic workers. Her work on the stepwise international labour migrations of Filipino and Indonesian domestic workers has been published in her book “Multinational Maids: Stepwise Migration in a Global Labor Market” (Cambridge University Press 2017) which received the 2018 Thomas and Zaniecki Best Book Award from the International Migration Section of the American Sociological Association, and the 2018 Max Weber Award for Distinguished Scholarship from the Organizations, Occupations, and Work Section of American Sociological Association. Assoc Prof Paul has also published sole-authored articles in the top journals in sociology and migration studies including the American Journal of Sociology, Social Forces, Migration Studies, the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Global Networks, and Ethnic and Racial Studies.
While Assoc Prof Paul continues to study migrant domestic work, her most recent project looks at the multiple migrations of Asian-born, Western-trained bioscientists who have to decide whether to return to Asia or not.
Assoc Prof Paul regularly works with student research assistants, using her projects as a way to introduce students to fieldwork, qualitative research methods, and under-studied populations. Assoc Prof Paul’s student research assistants have helped design and pilot surveys, conducted surveys in the field, cleaned and coded data, and engaged in data analysis. She recently published an edited volume of essays written by her students on spaces of globalisation in Singapore entitled “Local Encounters in a Global City” (Ethos Books 2017).
Assoc Prof Paul’s research areas include: International Migration, Globalisation, Gender & Labour, Race & Ethnicity, Urban Sociology
Paul, Anju M. 2018. “The Destination Decision of Asian Postdoctoral Trainees: Advice from Asian-born, Western-trained Bioscientists.” Pp. 279-300 in High-Skilled Migration: Drivers, Dynamics and Policies, edited by Mathias Czaika. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Paul, Anju M. 2018. “Unequal Networks: Comparing the Pre-Migration Overseas Networks of Indonesian and Filipino Migrant Domestic Workers.” Global Networks.
Paul, Anju M. 2018. “Maids’ Overtime Pay is Long Overdue.” Channel News Asia Commentary Page. 9 April 2018. Published at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/maids-foreign-domestic-worker-deserve-overtime-rest-days-10104036 (shared more than 15,000 times on social media).
Paul, Anju M. 2018. “Improve Welfare of Foreign Domestic Workers to Prevent ‘Care Drain.'” Channel News Asia Commentary Page. 7 May 2018. Published at
Paul, Anju M. 2017. Multinational Maids: Stepwise Migration in a Global Labor Market. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Paul, Anju M. (Ed.) 2017. Local Encounters in a Global City: Singapore Stories. Singapore: Ethos Books.
Paul, Anju M. and Pearlyn Neo. 2017. “Am I Allowed to Get Pregnant?: Awareness of Pregnancy Protection Laws among Migrant Domestic Workers in Hong Kong.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.
Paul, Anju M. and Victoria Long. 2017. “Where to Train: Shifts in the Doctoral Destination Advice given to Asian Bioscience Students.” Global Studies 10(3):1-18.
Paul, Anju M. and Victoria Long. 2016. “Human-Capital Strategies to Build World-Class Research Universities in Asia: Impact on Global Flows.” In The Transnational Politics of Higher Education: Contesting the Global / Transforming the Local, edited by Meng-Hsuan Chou, Isaac A. Kamola and Tamson Pietsch. London: Routledge.
Paul, Anju M. 2015. “Capital and Mobility in the Stepwise International Migrations of Filipino Migrant Domestic Workers.” Migration Studies 3(3): 438-459.
Paul, Anju M. 2015. “Negotiating Migration, Performing Gender.” Social Forces 94(1):271-293.
Paul, Anju M. 2013. “Good Help is Hard to Find: Differentiated Mobilization of Migrant Social Capital among Filipino Domestic Workers.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 39(5): 719-739.
Paul, Anju M. 2013. “Domestic Work, Paid.” Pp.192-195 in Sociology of Work: An Encyclopedia edited by V. Smith. Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publications
Paul, Anju M. 2011. “The Other Looks Back: Racial Distancing and Racial Alignment in Migrant Domestic Workers’ Stereotypes about white and Chinese Employers.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 34(6):1068-1087.
Paul, Anju M. 2011. “Stepwise International Migration: A Multi-Stage Migration Pattern for the Aspiring Migrant.” American Journal of Sociology 116(6):1842-1886.
Comparative Social Inquiry
Globalisation on the Ground
Methods in the Social Sciences