Communicative Reconstruction of Resilience Labor: Identity/Identification in Disaster-Relief Workers

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identification, resilience, resilience labor, identity, disaster-relief workers, frames, disaster relief, non-profit organizations

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Drawing from the structurational theory of identification [Scott, Corman, & Cheney, 1998] and resilience theory [Buzzanell, 2010], our inquiry provides insight into the sustainability of disaster-relief worker involvement and the discursive processes whereby workers overcome emotional and physical challenges to create resilience labor. Analyzing 23 semi-structured interviews with disaster-relief workers of a non-profit organization, we define resilience labor as the dual-layered process of reintegrating transformative identities and identifications to sustain and construct ongoing organizational involvement and resilience. The identification frames align with familial, ideological, and destruction–renewal network ties that empower individuals to construct their identities in transformative ways. The frames can guide non-profit managers and volunteers working in extreme contexts characterized by societal conflicts or disruption to sustain themselves as they construct resilience labor.

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Journal of Applied Communication Research, v. 43, issue 4, p. 408-428