Translating bodies: the legitimization of interpreters in Swiss healthcare

Lorente, Beatriz; Duchêne, A. (November 2017). Translating bodies: the legitimization of interpreters in Swiss healthcare (Submitted). In: 116th American Anthropological Association Meeting. Washington, D.C., USA.

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Interpreting is a site where border processes of citizenship are at work and where the tensions and logics of such processes are evident. Of the different forms of language work, interpreting is the one that is perhaps most saliently identified with the work of mediating the borders between citizens and “Others”. Yet, at the same time, interpreters themselves are subject to multiple border processes that legitimize their variable inclusion or exclusion as bodies that can moderate between borders. Based on ongoing ethnographic research as well as semi-structured interviews with interpreters in a hospital setting in Switzerland, this paper examines how different kinds of interpreters embody the processes of inclusion and exclusion through which different forms of citizenship are articulated. In particular, this paper looks at how freelance intercultural interpreters deployed by a non-government organization and medical workers who are tasked with ad-hoc interpreting are differentially legitimized and valued in the context of health care. It shows how the disciplining of tongues in the form of multi-tiered certification courses and continuing education is central to the legitimization of interpreters even as this helps ensure that they become embodied resources for the management of less predictable language needs. The paper explores how various regimes of care may serve as axes of differentiation between these two sets of interpreters even as these regimes render invisible the often precarious conditions within which much of the work of interpreting is done.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Division/Institute:

06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of English Languages and Literatures
06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of English Languages and Literatures > Modern English Linguistics

UniBE Contributor:

Lorente, Beatriz

Subjects:

800 Literature, rhetoric & criticism > 820 English & Old English literatures
400 Language > 420 English & Old English languages
400 Language > 410 Linguistics

Language:

English

Submitter:

Beatriz Lorente

Date Deposited:

10 Apr 2018 08:41

Last Modified:

10 Apr 2018 08:41

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/107761

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