Precarity Amongst Women Migrant Night Workers in Ireland

Aims and Objectives

PRECNIGHTS is an ambitious anthropological project on labour migration and precarity, focusing on the essential, yet invisible, women migrant night workers (WMN) in Ireland. Through an innovative interdisciplinary and ethnographic approach, the research will impact scholarly debates on migration, and will inform key Irish and European stakeholders on migrant workers’ rights.

PRECNIGHTS’ objectives are to:

  1. Unpack how are WMN expected to perform their gender in nightwork;
  2. Explore factors that affect WMN’s responses to invisibility and precarity;
  3. Examine how management practices and work culture impact WMN’s understanding and crafting of their self-presentations; and
  4. Unpack the structural invisibilisation and precarisation of WMN.

PRECNIGHTS aims to make visible WMN through an intersectional methodology that not only examines precarity, migration, gender and nightwork, but also focuses on how each of these four dimensions magnifies the lived experiences of the others; and, further, through ground-breaking, digital, and nocturnal ethnography that captures night experiences. Together, these enable an inclusive analysis of the lack of ‘power and privilege’ and the forms of ‘oppression and inequality’ faced by WMN. PRECNIGHTS, thus, uniquely contributes to scholarly efforts and policy work dedicated to understanding the contemporary European labour migration regime, which produces conditions of marginality in urban settings, not just in Ireland, but also in other EU contexts.

PRECNIGHTS will be hosted by ISS21, University College Cork, under the supervision of Dr Caitriona Ni Laoire, whose background and expertise in qualitative multi-modal research and socio-spatial dynamics of inclusion/exclusion are at PRECNIGHTS’ core.

Events and Outputs
  • 'Researcher’s Nightworkshop: Reaching out to vulnerable migrant nightworkers', presentation by JC Macarie at a seminar hosted by the ISS21 Migration and Integration Research Cluster, UCC, 12 December, 2022.
  • A short presentation on the PRECNIGHTS project was made as part of the UCC Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) Soapbox event November 2022. The aim of the event was to share knowledge of EDI initiatives across the university, as part of Equality Week 2022. Further details and slides available: here
  • The Good Life: A talk by Professor Daniel Miller, 22 November 2022. Further details and a recording of the seminar available here
Project Funding and Duration:

Dr Julius-Cezar Macarie was awarded a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Research Fellowship to carry out this research. The project runs from Sept. 2022-Aug. 2024.


For information on the project contact: Dr Julius-Cezar Macarie (

Follow on twitter at: @precnights



Institute for Social Science in the 21st Century (ISS21)

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