Self-care Ethics: Towards Enhancing the Translator’s Agency and Symbolic Recognition

Title: Self-care Ethics: Towards Enhancing the Translator’s Agency and Symbolic Recognition
Authors: Boukhaffa, Abderrahman
Date: 2021-11-23
Abstract: The late 20th century attempts at the professionalization of translation as a modern system – with professional associations as its organizing institutions – have been accompanied by the ‘need’ to codify and regulate ethical issues. The purpose of this process of ‘professionalization’ and, by extension, ethics codification as a part of that process, is to reduce doubt and uncertainty between the different agents involved in the translation occupation, on the one hand, and impose the translator’s recognition, on the other hand – as we learn from the sociology of professions. Within this context, a number of translator associations have created codes of ethics , adopting a deontological approach based on a priori principles. Precise solutions have been proposed in these documents to respond to the ethical issues that arise in translation. This thesis argues that these solutions are problematic as they may not only ignore the complex nature of ethical encounters but may also impact on the translator’s empowerment. The study demonstrates how codes of ethics – supposedly one of the traits of professionalism, which is equated with symbolic recognition and self-control of one’s occupation in the sociology of professions – may be internal sites where a low status of the translator is reinforced and an external control is discerned. Also, the thesis shows how in the name of ethics, these documents may be sites where ‘ethics’ function as ideologies of alienation and where the translator’s ethics per se are neutralized. It also examines how codes may impact on those beyond the circle of translation, as a consequence. Drawing on Pierre Bourdieu’s and Zygmunt Bauman’s sociologies, the current project investigates the codes/charter of ethics of a selection of national/provincial and international associations, in addition to the UNESCO Nairobi Recommendation, in order to find out how they impact on the translator's capital and moral self. Drawing on Michel Foucault’s notion of Epimeleia Heautou (self-care) and transformative learning theory, the study proposes alternative ethics to the current codes of ethics.
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -