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A project that studies how women migrant nightworkers (WMN) become unseen in the masculine world of nightwork.

PRECNIGHTS also looks at what WMN need to do, how they perform at night to be accepted and treated equally to men working at night.

It aims to improve their lived and felt experiences by uncovering ways in which they create spaces of resistance, support and safety.

PRECNIGHTS is the acronym for Precarity Amongst Women Migrant Nightworkers in Ireland. PRECNIGHTS is a pioneering project in the field of research on the hidden experiences of Women Migrant Nightworkers (WMN). 


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.

Here is what it means for some women migrant nightworkers to work the night shift:

Imagine that you finished a stressful nightshift at 4am and get home at 5 to sleep. After six hours of daysleep, you're off to English language classes for three to four hours. You rush back home to cook and eat before you’re on the bus again, commuting for another noisy nightshift. You do the 'graveyard’ shift because it pays a couple of euros more than on days. Even so, tiredness never goes away.

More from Eleonora, a South American working as door security, see her full illustrated profile.

Women migrant nightworkers in food, accommodation and entertainment industries perform fundamental forms of work. Yet, they are invisible in plain sight, undervalued and underpaid. PRECNIGHTS is scafollded on the following objectives that will enable us understand of the current state of nightwork in Ireland.



  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.

Who is involved?

PRECNIGHTS is conducted by anthropologist Julius-Cezar MacQuarie, PhD, under the supervision of Dr Caitriona Ni Laoire, both associated with ISS21, University College Cork. Read more about the team members, the Advisory Board, Research Hosts and collaborators in the PEOPLE section.

PRECNIGHTS is a project funded under Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) | Grant №: 101063938 | Host: Institute

for Social Science in the 21st Century

Top Floor floor, Carrigbawn / Safari Building | Donovan Road | Cork, Ireland , T12 YE30