Volume 11, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0924-1884
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9986
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Abstract: The concept of "translation " is required to carry a considerable load at several levels of inquiry. It functions as a causal element in sociological theories, and as a methodological tool, when used extensionally. Most importantly, it is the concept which in some way structures the field which we take as our object of inquiry. As such, it has particular functions in serving as a basis for generalizations and as a means of determining category membership. In response to what are perceived as difficulties in some of these areas, some scholars have hinted that the concept of "translation" might be fruitfully viewed as a prototype category. In this paper, I review the philosophical and empirical arguments which support such a move, and outline some of the programmatic consequences. The focus is on the resolution of current conceptual problems, and on the theoretical and metatheoretical implications.Résumé: Le concept de "traduction" est mis en oeuvre à différents niveaux de la recherche: comme élément causal en sociologie, et, par extension, comme outil méthodologique. Mais il permet surtout de structurer le champ même de l'investigation, au point de former la base des généralisations, et d'être un instrument de catégorisation. Face aux problèmes soulevés par ces diverses fonctions, certains chercheurs sont amenés à définir la "traduction " comme une catégorie prototypique. L'article examine les arguments philosophiques et empiriques qui étayent cette réorientation conceptuelle, puis esquisse les conséquences qu 'elle entraîne. L'accent est mis sur des problèmes conceptuels, et sur les implications aux plans théorique et métathéorique.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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