“Going social?“ On the pathways and paradigms in interpreting studies

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As researchers are devoting more and more attention to aspects of interpreting that seemed marginal at best only fifteen years ago, the field of Interpreting Studies seems to be undergoing a shift or reorientation. This paper is an attempt to make sense of the changing landscape of interpreting research in terms of influential concepts, models, and paradigms. Various ways of seeing the object of study are described with reference to the notion of “memes” and to different dimensions of theoretical modeling. Against the background of the evolution of the field in the late twentieth century, a number of research traditions that may be accorded paradigm status in the Kuhnian sense are discussed with special regard for their mutual relationships. With particular emphasis on the discourse-based interactionist paradigm that gained ground in the 1990s in association with community-based interpreting, the option of “going social” is analyzed with a view to its implications for the conceptualization and theoretical modeling of interpreting, as well as the epistemology, methodology and research policy of the field.


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