Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

How memorable socialization messages from within cultural communities shape adult meaning attributions about work: The case of Lebanese-Americans
by Homsey, Dini Massad, Ph.D., The University of Oklahoma, 2013, 110; 3560554
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation describes the process by which community messaging obligates members to perform work behaviors in order to achieve full membership status—labeled here the Obligation-based Culturing of Work (OCW). The investigation supports and extends theory regarding the sources and influences of adult meaning attributions about work, and how those meaning attributions can function as a mechanism of cultural maintenance. Constant comparative analysis of 31, face-to-face interviews with members of a Lebanese-American community revealed how anticipatory work socialization emanates from sources other than organizations and is an interpretive process through which influential community members inculcate new generations with memorable messaging. Participants' reported that their community's messaging encouraged them to make sense of work in ways that invited shared mental models about the meaning of work behaviors; then, the community's messaging connected those meanings to the idealized performance of authentic cultural membership. Therefore, memorable community messages constructed cultural identity as at least partially performed in work behaviors. Analysis revealed how the seemingly mundane communication of everyday community and family life is linked to enduring patterns of meaning attributions and work behaviors. OCW supports and extends organizational communication theories like anticipatory organizational socialization, work socialization, and the meaning of work (MOW) as well as intercultural communication theories like cross-cultural adaptation, intercultural fusion, hybridity, and critical cultural transculturation. The dissertation discusses how these findings contribute to knowledge about the interrelationships among messaging about work, cultural maintenance, and community identity.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Bisel, Ryan
Commitee: Kramer, Eric, Kramer, Michael, Landis, Joshua, Rodriguez, Clemencia
School: The University of Oklahoma
Department: Department of Communication
School Location: United States -- Oklahoma
Source: DAI-A 74/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Communication, Organization Theory
Keywords: Anticipatory socialization, Community identity, Cultural maintenance, Intercultural communication, Memorable messages, Work socialization
Publication Number: 3560554
ISBN: 978-1-303-06691-7
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