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Title: Positioning of volunteer interpreters in the field of public service interpreting in Spanish hospitals : a Bourdieusian perspective
Author: Aguilar Solano, Maria Ascension
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis sets out to investigate the field of public service interpreting in southern Spain, with a particular emphasis on the position of volunteer interpreters working at two different healthcare institutions. It looks at the power relationships that develop between agents that hold different degrees of control and autonomy, especially in a context where individuals hold different forms and volume of capital in each encounter. Drawing on Bourdieu’s Theory of Practice, the study offers an in-depth examination of a group of volunteer interpreters as legitimate agents of the wider field of public service interpreting and the sub-field of healthcare interpreting, while looking at their impact on the structures and ethics of the larger field. This is the first project to employ Bourdieu’s theory in a sustained case study of a healthcare context where volunteer interpreters operate as legitimised institutional agents. One of the peculiarities of the two settings under examination is that volunteer interpreters seem to have acquired a high degree of institutionalisation, which provides them with a large volume of symbolic capital and allows them to take part in the field as legitimate members of the healthcare team, often occupying similar positions to those adopted by doctors at the top end of the field hierarchy. The study adopts an ethnographic approach based on a triangulation of data: participant observation of volunteer interpreters, audio-recorded interpreter-mediated interaction and focus-group interviews with volunteer interpreters. The primary data that informs the thesis consists of four focus groups carried out with volunteer interpreters in two different Spanish hospitals. The additional use of participant observations and audio-recordings make it possible to examine not only interpreters’ perceptions but also actual behaviour in authentic encounters, and to compare interpreters’ perception of their positioning with the actual positions they often occupy in the field.
Supervisor: Baker, Mona; Beaton-Thome, Morven Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: volunteer interpreters ; healthcare interpreting ; attitudinal autonomy ; institutionalisation ; alignment ; doxa