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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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academic immigration 100 acculturation 21, 48, 53, 75, 76, 132 achievement versus ascription 13 adaptation, cultural 3, 21, 26, 29, 30, 114, 120 agency 2, 4, 6, 53, 54, 85, 88-89, 101, 122, 125, 153 American Dream 47, 48, 79, 89 assimilation 21, 138, 145, 146, 152 attachment to work 15-16 boundaries, national 9 calling 50, 92 career 2, 4, 6, 11, 24, 29, 30, 63, 73, 74, 76, 88, 93, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 121, 122, 123, 124-126, 135,149, 152 success 5, 26, 46, 52, 89, 94 failure 13 advancement 48, 82 inheritance 45, 46-48, 50, 51-52, 53-54 enablers 82, 87, 89, 94 transitions 91, 92 exit 92 kaleidoscope 92 growth 48, 114, 121, 125 stagnation 5, 121, 125 protean 126 derailment 118, 119, 129 central fusion theory 22 choice rhetoric 92 culture 3, 10, 21-22, 38, 39, 42, 47, 65, 80, 81, 90, 93, 96, 124, 143, 145-146, 148,153 collectivistic 60 corporate 27 crossing 3, 15, 115, 120, 153 cross-cultural 10, 11, 12, 13, 16, 17 difference 10, 17, 22, 138, 144, 146, see also difference origin, of 2, 9, 138, 152 host culture, 11, 18, 25, 26, 33, 34, 35, 51, 53, 76, 113, 114, 124, 139, also home culture or native culture national 3, 17 organizational 36 work culture 11, 12, 14, 17, 92, 120, 138, 144, 149 cultural distance 4, 11, 13, 14, 17, 18 deculturation 21 162 | index difference 29, 35, 36-37, 101, 104, 105, 106, 115, 138, 144, 145, 146,...

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