Institute for Social Justice


Ulrike Prattes

Ulrike Prattes

Ulrike (Riikka) Prattes

Riikka’s doctoral thesis was about the “outsourcing” of domestic cleaning from private households to migrant women in the informal market. Feminist scholarship on outsourcing domestic and care work in the global North has importantly highlighted the interactions of gender with class, race, and ethnicity. An almost exclusive focus on differently situated women, however, tends to reproduce the organization and performance of reproductive work as a “women’s issue,” simultaneously shrouding men’s positions therein. Via an in-depth empirical study with domestic work outsourcing, opposite-sex couples in Vienna, Austria, Riikka’s thesis brings the affective relations and corporeal practices of responsiveness and non-responsiveness between men and women in outsourcing households, and their positioning vis-à-vis migrant domestic workers to the fore. While doing so, the project never loses track of the larger asymmetrical power relations within which these face-to-face encounters in the so-called “private” sphere are embedded.

Before joining ISJ Riikka earned a Mag.phil. (MA equivalent) with distinction in Social and Cultural Anthropology from the University of Vienna, Austria. For her Master’s thesis that investigated young men’s constructions of masculinities vis-à-vis “feminism,” Riikka received the prestigious Gabriele Possanner-prize. This prize is awarded by the Austrian Ministry of Science and Research for outstanding research promoting gender equality.

Riikka has a strong background in qualitative research. Her research expertise stretches from critical studies of men and masculinities and gender studies, feminist anthropology, feminism and multiculturalism, feminist theory, affect theory, the international division of reproductive labor, feminist care ethics, feminist epistemologies, to epistemologies of ignorance, and decolonial theory.