Volume 30, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0924-1884
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9986
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In the last two decades, Bourdieu’s sociology has provided appropriate tools for examining the work of literary translators through history. However, Bourdieusian approaches to literary translation seem to reproduce a major problem underlying Bourdieu’s theory; namely, a deterministic view of human behaviour. This article, against the alleged incompatibility between sociological approaches and culturalist paradigms, proposes to combine Bourdieu’s sociology with the notion of transculturation borrowed from Latin American cultural studies. The article demonstrates how transculturation helps elucidating the divided and contradictory nature of the habitus, as it was originally formulated by Bourdieu in his early writings on Kabylian society. Data from my previous study on the translational activity of Dai Wangshu in Republican China are used to illustrate how transculturation reveals itself as a valid model for the study of literary translators through history beyond the limitations of a sociologically-informed approach based exclusively on a Bourdieusian perspective.


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