Jennifer Fish

NORFOLK, 23529

Jennifer N. Fish is a sociologist who focuses on women’s labor and migration in the informal economy, with an emphasis on transnational activism and development. As a public sociologist, Dr. Fish has conducted community-based research with students and partner organizations in Nepal, South Africa, Rwanda, Haiti, and Senegal. Her research informs four books, numerous chapters and journal articles, and organizational reports for policy and research organizations worldwide, including the International Labour Organization of the United Nations. Dr. Fish is a member of the Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO) policy-research network at Harvard University, and a Research Associate at the Social Law Project at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa. Her work is currently funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada and the Centre for Global Social Policy at the University of Toronto.

Ph.D. in Sociology with emphasis Global Sociology and Race/Class/Gender, American University, (2003)

Contracts, Grants and Sponsored Research

Fish, J. N. "Gender, Migration And The Work of Care: Comparative Perspectives" $15,231. Foreign. April 1, 2016 - March 31, 2017


Global Development, Gender, Migration and the Informal Economy, Post-conflict Transitions, Refugee Studies

Research Interests

Women and Informal Global Labor, Transnational Activism, Migration and Refugee Rights, Women and Post-Conflict Transitions, Feminist Research Methods


Fish, J. N. (2015). Making History through Policy: A Field Report on the International Domestic Workers Movement. International Labor and Working-Class History 88 , pp. 156–165.
Eldoseri, H., Tufts, K., Zhang, Q. and Fish, J. N. (2014). Adverse health effects of spousal violence among women attending Saudi Arabian primary health-care clinics. Eastern Mediterranean health journal 20 (11).
Gobodo-Madikizela, P., Fish, J. N. and Shefer, T. (2014). Gendered violence: Continuities and transformation in the aftermath of conflict in Africa. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 40 (1) , pp. 81–99.
Earnest, D. C. and Fish, J. N. (2014). Visual Sociology in the Classroom: Using Imagery to Teach the Politics of Globalization. politics 34 (3) , pp. 248–262.
Boris, E. and Fish, J. N. (2014). “Slaves No More”: Making Global Labor Standards for Domestic Workers. Feminist Studies 40 (2) , pp. 411–443.
Miller, E., Smetherham, J. and Fish, J. N. (2012). Visual Texts as Scholar Activism: the Social Documentation of HIV/AIDS Activism and Elder Women. Kronos 38 (1) , pp. 219-248.
Gorman, S., Monk-Turner, E. and Fish, J. N. (2010). Free adult Internet web sites: How prevalent are degrading acts?. Gender Issues 27 (3-4) , pp. 131–145.
Fish, J. N. (2006). Engendering democracy: Domestic labour and coalition-building in South Africa. Journal of Southern African Studies 32 (1) , pp. 107–127.


Fish, J. N. (2017). Domestic Workers of the World Unite! A Global Movement for Dignity and Human Rights. New York University Press.
Smetherham, J., Miller, E. and Fish, J. N. (2013). The Nevergiveups. Electric Bookworks.

Book Chapters

Fish, J. N. and Shumpert, M. (2017). The Grassroots-Global Dialectic: International Policy as an Anchor for Domestic Worker Organizing Gender, Migration and the Work of Care: A Multi-Scalar Approach to the Pacific Rim New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Fish, J. N. and Turner, J. L.. (2016). The Global Domestic: Mapping Decent Work in International Dialogues West Meets East: The ILO from Geneva to the Pacific Rim New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Boris, E. and Fish, J. N. (2015). Decent Work for Domestics: Feminist Organizing, Worker Empowerment and the ILO Towards a Global History of Domestic and Caregiving Workers Leiden: Brill.
Fish, J. N. and Russo, S. L.. (2015). Documenting Trauma, Hope, and Human Security: Scholar Activist Research with Grandmothers against Poverty and AIDS A Reflexive Inquiry into Gender Research: Towards a New Paradigm of Knowledge Production & Exploring New Frontiers of Gender Research in Southern Africa Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
Fish, J. N. (2014). "Picking the Fruit from the Tree": From Colonial Legacy to Global Protections in Transnational Domestic Worker Activism Colonization and Domestic Service: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives New York: Routledge Press.
Fish, J. N. (2014). Organizing through State Transitions and Global Institutions: Crafting Domestic Labor Policy in South Africa When Care Goes Global Surrey: Ashgate Press.
Fish, J. N. (2013). Rights Across Borders: Policies, Protections and Practices for Migrant Domestic Workers in South Africa Exploited, Undervalued – and Essential: Domestic Workers and the Realisation of Their Rights Johannesburg: Juta Academic.
Fish, J. N. and Rothchild, J. (2010). Intersections of Scholar-Activism in Feminist Fieldwork: Reflections on Nepal and South Africa The Intersectional Approach: Transforming the Academy through Race, Class, and Gender Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.
Randell, S. and Fish, J. N. (2010). Promoting the Retention of Women Faculty and Students in Higher Education: the Rwandan Case Girl-Child Education in Africa Lagos: CIDJAP Press.
Britton, H., Fish, J. N. and Meintjes, S. (2009). Engendering Civil Society in Democratic South Africa Women's Activism in South Africa: Working Across Divides Scottsville: University of KwaZulu-Natal Press.
Fish, J. N. (2009). Exploring the Relationship between Forgiveness and Socio-Economic Development: The Ongoing Dialogue of Reconciliation within the Domestic Labour Sphere Memory, Narrative & Forgiveness – Perspectives on the Unfinished Journeys of the Past Oxford: Oxford Unviersity Press.
Fish, J. N. (2009). Organizing from Private Spaces: Domestic Labour in South African Civil Society Women's Activism in South Africa: Working Across Divides Scottsville: University of KwaZulu-Natal Press.
Fish, J. N. (2009). Securing Private Spaces: Gender and National Security in South Africa Sexed Pistols: the Gendered Impacts of Small Arms and Light Weapons Tokyo: United Nations University Press.
Fish, J. N. (2006). Domestic Democracy: At Home in South Africa New York: Routledge.

Conference Proceeding

Boris, E. and Fish, J. N. (2014). Domestic Workers Go Global: The Birth of the International Domestic Workers Federation New Labor Forum (pp. 76–81).
  • 2013: Humanitarian Award, Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities, Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities
  • 2012: Finalist, State Council of Higher Education of Virginia Outstanding Faculty, State Council of Higher Education of Virginia
  • 2011: Woman of Distinction Award, YWCA of Hampton Roads, YWCA of Hampton Roads
  • 2006: Faculty Member of the Year, Warren Wilson College