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The contradictory condition of 'homelessness' in the life of the transnational professional.

Whitehead, Gabriela


Gabriela Whitehead


This paper explores the condition of 'homelessness' as self-represented by a particular category of skilled professionals, who in the pursuit of work have relocated internationally more than once. The argument proposed is that, as a result of their highly mobile lifestyle, these transnational professionals experience ambiguous feelings regarding their notion of home, considered as a source of direction and stability associated with a given place or culture. Drawing on 48 personal narratives, this paper examines how the notion of home is manifested as part of the life of the transnational professional. The analysis follows the approach of intertextuality to identify associations with certain archetypal tales and novels associated with individual displacement. The findings show contradictory references to a sense of homelessness, which in the context of work is perceived as an ideal attitude, whereas in the private sphere generates negative feelings of self-alienation.


WHITEHEAD, G. 2017. The contradictory condition of 'homelessness' in the life of the transnational professional. Culture and organization [online], 23(4), pages 306-324. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 6, 2017
Online Publication Date Jun 23, 2017
Publication Date Sep 30, 2017
Deposit Date Aug 14, 2017
Publicly Available Date Dec 24, 2018
Journal Culture and organization
Print ISSN 1475-9551
Electronic ISSN 1477-2760
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 23
Issue 4
Pages 306-324
Keywords Global careers; Serial expatriation; Narrative analysis; Home; Archetypes; Corporate discourses
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