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Immigrant Workers and Meanings of Work

Communicating Life and Career Transitions

Edited By Suchitra Shenoy-Packer and Elena Gabor

This first-of-its-kind book uniquely captures the meanings of work expressed by immigrants. Their stories – from work histories to life transitions and professional journeys – are conscientiously and rigorously mapped by the academic insights of communication scholars, many of whom are immigrants themselves.
Immigrant workers’ narratives of work and its nuances in an adopted country offer many hitherto muted, invisible, and/or purposely silenced perspectives. A variety of new and familiar terms – concepts such as career inheritance, aphorisms, cultural adaptation, acculturation, and cultural distance – and culture-specific terms such as ganas and consejos are discussed alongside the inherent struggles of identity construction across borders.
While the contributors represent diversity in co-cultural affiliations, national origin, and immigration experiences encountered both personally and professionally, the stories of immigrants represent an even larger number of countries and cultures.
This volume compels the academic community to acknowledge immigrants as workers whose voices matter and whose sense and processes of meaning-making is nuanced, complex, and multi-dimensional. Immigrant workers’ voices can contribute significantly to the rich growth of research in organizational communication, meanings of work, career studies, cross-cultural management, psychology of work, and work and society.


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156 | contributors Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, and Environmental Communication: A Journal of Nature and Culture, and she also contributes to invited chapters and Communication Currents, an online publication. Stephen M. Croucher (Ph.D., University of Oklahoma) is a professor of inter- cultural communication at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. He researches immigrant cultural adaptation, identity formation/negotiation within Europe, and conflict management/conceptualization. He is the winner of numerous top paper awards at regional, national, and international conferences, has authored more than 45 journal articles and book chapters, authored/co-edited three books, and given keynote addresses in more than 10 nations. He has explored communication traits and behaviors on five continents. He is the current editor of the Journal of Intercultural Communication Research and is the vice-chair of the Intercultural Communication Division of the International Communication Association. Elena Gabor (Ph.D., Purdue University) is an associate professor at Bradley University, USA. Her research interests focus on issues of occupational social- ization, work, communication, identity, and careers. Her work has appeared in peer-reviewed journals, such as Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal (Highly Commended Paper Award, 2013), Journal of Ethnographic and Qualitative Research, Intercultural Communication Studies, and the International Journal of Wildland Fire. She is currently working on a research grant with the U.S. Forest Service studying radio communication in wildland fires. Dini M. Homsey (Ph.D., University of Oklahoma) is an assistant professor in the Marketing Department of the College of Business at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond,...

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