The sociology of Bourdieu and the construction of the 'object' in translation and interpreting studies

Inghilleri, Moira. 2005. The sociology of Bourdieu and the construction of the 'object' in translation and interpreting studies. The Translator, 11(2), pp. 125-145. ISSN 13556509 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This article introduces Bourdieu's sociological perspective and its relevance to translation and interpreting studies. It discusses Bourdieu's key concepts – habitus, field, capital and illusio – and their contribution to theorizations of the interaction between structure and agency in sociological and philosophical debates. Considerable attention is paid to the relationship between Bourdieu's reflexive sociology and the emergent interest in the ethnographic tradition within translation and interpreting studies, particularly the influence of the interpretive approach of Geertz and the subsequent work of Clifford and Marcus within the culturalist paradigm. The question of methodology is addressed in relation to Bourdieu's reflexive sociology and the construction of the 'object' of sociological research. The article further explores how Bourdieu's concepts may be made to work empirically within translation and interpreting research and how much this depends on embracing Bourdieu's ontological and epistemological stance. Bourdieu's work is briefly explored in relation to other sociological theories that have begun to emerge as relevant to translation studies, in particular the work of Latour and Luhmann, and additional future directions for research within the sociology of translation and interpreting are suggested.

Item Type:



Pierre Bourdieu, reflexive sociology, habitus, field, capital, illusio, Bruno Latour, Niklas Luhmann

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

English and Comparative Literature


November 2005Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

12 Mar 2009 15:41

Last Modified:

13 Mar 2013 14:54

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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