Communicative re-construction of resilience labor: Identity/Identification in disaster-relief workers

Author/Creator ORCID





Citation of Original Publication

Agarwal, V., & Buzzanell, P. M. (2015). Communicative reconstruction of resilience labor: Identity/identification in disaster-relief workers. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 43(4), 408-428.



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.