Presented to the Organizational Communication Division of the International Communication Association 2015, at San Juan, PR.
Although research has explored how career and work are understood as legacy or inheritance in particular social contexts, scholars have called for more nuanced approaches relevant to cultural minorities and immigrants, attuned to the intersections of race, class, and gender, and negotiations of individual agency vis-à-vis institutional structures. My paper addresses this call, by outlining a framework centered on the communicative processes of (dis)placement, whereby actors make meaningful work values, stemming from the various sites they occupy. I argue, every instance of displacement also always includes a process of placement, or embedding oneself somewhere, so that career inheritance is an ongoing movement of navigating work and life across place and time. While extant work on career inheritance has focused on localized, or single community-based negotiations, this paper thus urges a consideration of the transnational and transcontextual meaning-making that shapes contemporary careers.