Tom O'Neill, Ph.D.

Faculty of Social Sciences - Child and Youth Studies




Tom O'Neill, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
CRN - 342
Phone (905) 688-5550, ext. 3110
Email: toneill@brocku.ca

Dr. O’Neill is a social-cultural anthropologist who has conducted extensive fieldwork in Nepal since 1993. His research in the Tibeto-Nepalese carpet industry dealt with petty-capitalism, “bonded” child labour and youth who worked as carpet weavers. He has also investigated transnational labour migration, and the effects of Nepal’s Maoist insurgency on its children and youth. His most recent research has been on Nepalese youth political engagement, and second generation Tamil-Canadian youth and transnational ethnonationalist ideology.
To review a draft of recent research on youth political engagement in Nepal, please click here

Research Interests

  • Youth political engagement
  • Ethnicity and nationalism
  • Transnationalism and globalization
  • Second generation immigrants and refugees in Canada
  • Children and youth in war zones
  • Child and youth 'living rights' in international development

(A representative sample of scholarly achievements)

Selected Publications

O'Neill, Tom (2012) "Young carpet weavers on the rights threshold: protection or practical self-determination?" in: Reconceptualising Children's Rights in International Development: Living Rights, Social Justice, Translations, Hanson, Karl and Olga Nieuwenhuys, (eds.) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 93 - 11

O'Neill, Tom (2012) "The Heart of Helambu" Critical Arts 26(2): 192-206.

O'Neill, Tom (2009) “Social Labelling Programs in Nepal’s Carpet Industry” in The World of Child Labor: An Historical and Regional Survey edited by Hugh D Hindman, ME Sharpe Press.

O’Neill, Tom and Dawn Zinga, editors (2008) Children’s Rights: Multidisciplinary Approaches to Participation and Protection Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

O'Neill, Tom (2008) "The Dilemma of Child and Youth Participation in Nepal's 'People's War'" In: Children's Rights: Multidisciplinary Approaches to Participation and Protection. University of Toronto Press pp. 21-38.

O'Neill, Tom (2007) "'Our Nepali work is very good': Nepalese Domestic Workers as Transnational Subjects" Asian and Pacific Migration Journal, 16(3): 301-321.

O'Neill, Tom (2005) “ Ethnic Identity and Instrumentality in Tibeto-Nepalese Carpet Production” Asian Studies Review Volume 29: pp. 279-290 .

O'Neill, Tom (2005) “Labour Standard Regulation and the Modernization of Small-Scale Carpet Production in Kathmandu Nepal ” in Petty Capitalists and Globalization : Flexibility, Entrepreneurship, and Economic Development Edited by Alan Smart & Josephine Smart Albany N.Y: State University of New York Press pp.201-225.

O'Neill, Tom (2004). "Weaving Wages, Indebtedness, and Remittances in the Nepalese Carpet Industry" in Human Organization 63(2): 211-220.

O'Neill, Tom (2001). "Selling Girls in Kuwait: Domestic Labour Migration and Trafficking Discourse in Nepal", Anthropologica 53(2): 153-164.

Selected Conference Presentations

O'Neill, Tom (2011) "In the path of heroes: second generation Tamil-Canadians after the LTTE" A paper presented to the American Anthropological Meetings, Montreal, P.Q.

O'Neill, Tom (2010) "Second generation Tamil diaspora identity after Eelam" a paper in presentated to the 2010 Canadian Anthropology Society meetings, Montreal, P.Q.

O'Neill, Tom (2009) "Young carpet weavers on the rights threshold: protection or practical self-determination?" A paper presented at Living Rights: Theorizing Children's Rights in International Development. Institut Universitat Kurt Bosch, Sion, Switzerland.

O’Neill, Tom (2008) “Solidarity, in little pieces” A paper presented to the Canadian Anthropology Society Meetings, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON.

O'Neill, Tom (2006) "The Heart of Helambu" A paper presented to the 2006 American Anthropological Society meetings, San Jose, CA, U.S.A.

O'Neill, Tom (2006) "What good is an education when we can fight the people's war": the delemma of child and youth participation in political violence in Nepal. A paper presented to Investment and Citizenship: towards a transdisciplinary dialogue on child and youth rights, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario.

O'Neill, Tom (2006) Open Field Notes: Auto-ethnographic transfiguration of fieldwork encounters in Nepal. A paper presented at the 2006 Association of American Geographer's meetings, Chicago, U.S.A.

O'Neill, Tom (2005) “Global Regulation and Small-Scale Nepalese Entrepreneurs.” A paper presented to the Asian Studies Society meetings, Montreal , P.Q.