Twenty Years EST: Same place, different times
  • ISSN 0924-1884
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9986
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This paper concentrates on instrumental thinking to analyse the conceptualization of translation in praxis and theory. First, instrumental thinking is introduced as a general mode of thinking which can be traced across different academic disciplines. A critical position is adopted with reference to Horkheimer/Adorno and Bourdieu. Based on Bourdieu’s work on “the state of the unthought” and the “pre-constructed,” some examples from academic discourse are discussed to foreground how a certain type of instrumental thinking is linked to market-oriented politics and how this shapes concepts in academic discourse as well. It is argued that the effects of the instrumental can be found on several levels in Translation Studies and that these levels are interrelated. These include the ways translation is understood and approached in practice by interaction partners involved in translation and interpreting processes, in the discourses on translation and interpretation in fields outside academia, and in scholarly work on translation.


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