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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.
Suchitra Shenoy-Packer (PhD, Purdue University) is an independent research scholar and management consultant. She is the author of India’s Working Women and Career Discourses: Society, Socialization, and Agency, and co-author of Intercultural Communication in Everyday Life. Her peer-reviewed work has been published in Management Communication Quarterly, Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, and the Journal of Communication and Religion, among others.
Elena Gabor (PhD, Purdue University) is an associate professor at Bradley University. Her work has appeared in peer-reviewed journals such as Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal (Highly Commended Paper Award, 2013), the Journal of Ethnographic and Qualitative Research, and Intercultural Communication Studies, among others.