The sociology of translation and its “activist turn”

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The last few years have seen a great increase in works on what has been labeled a &#8220;sociological turn&#8221; in translation studies. This turn has particularly taught us to sharpen our &#8220;sociological eye&#8221; on the various agencies and agents involved in any translation procedure, and more specifically in the textual factors operating in the translation process. In this paper I will discuss the conditions underlying the &#8220;sociological turn&#8221; and examine both its limitations and its potential, with particular attention to the translator&#8217;s <i>habitus</i> as elaborated in sociology and in translation studies. My focus will be on the political factors which in recent years have contributed to molding the <i>habitus</i>, not least in the domain of &#8220;translation and activism,&#8221; where new codes of reference have been created for translatorial activity that also pose searching questions for Western concepts of translation and their social implications, ultimately triggering what might be called an &#8220;activist turn.&#8221;


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