From Stigma to Resistant Career Discourses: Toward a Co-Cultural Career Communication Model for Non-Dominant Group Member

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Roma career theory, co-cultural theory, culture of honor, stigmatized groups, resistance


Career communication focuses on Western and dominant members’ work and careers in formal economies. Applying co-cultural theory to anthropological data, we show how groups, such as the Roma people, operate within dialectics of inclusion-exclusion, dignity-stigma, individual-collectivity, and legality-illegality to construct career discourses marked by resistance and resource recuperation. Building on Lucassen, Willems, and Cottaar (1998), we have identified five characteristics of Romany experiences of work and resistance: (a) the entire family functioning as the work unit; (b) mobility; (c) preference for self-employment; (d) the rhetoric of recuperation; and (e) work used as resistance toward dominant majorities. In doing so, we offer an ideological critique of career and the Roma. Our model is applicable to other marginalized groups.

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Intercultural Communication Studies, v. 21, issue 3, p. 1-17