Social representations theory: An approach to studying translators’ socio-cognitive processes

Sari Hokkanen

Abstract


Social Representations Theory provides a comprehensive theoretical model for researching translators’ socio-cognitive processes. Developed in social psychology in the 1960s, the theory offers an integrative view of both individual and social processes in the construction and re-construction of knowledge. It draws attention to embodied meaning-making and the effect of material surroundings in perpetuating and disseminating social representations. Importantly, Social Representations Theory does not see representations as individual, solely conscious, or static mental constructions but as dynamic social–psychological phenomena that are enacted in discourse and social interaction. This article discusses Social Representations Theory as an approach to the empirical study of translators’ cognitive processes. Introducing the main concepts of the theory and using translators’ conceptualizations of source-text authors and target-text readers as an example, the article suggests avenues for using the theory in Cognitive Translation Studies.


Keywords


Social Representations Theory; cognition; Cognitive Translation Studies; social psychology

Full Text:

PDF HTML

References


Barsalou, L. W. (1999). Perceptual symbol systems. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 22(4), 577–660. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0140525X99002149

Bauer, M. W., & Gaskell, G. (1999). Towards a paradigm for research on social representations. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 29(2), 163–186. https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-5914.00096

Campbell, C., & Jovchelovitch, S. (2000). Health, community and development: Towards a social psychology of participation. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 10(4), 255–270. https://doi.org/10.1002/1099-1298(200007/08)10:4<255::AID-CASP582>3.0.CO;2-M

Carugati, F. F. (1990). From social cognition to social representations in the study of intelligence. In G. Duveen & B. Lloyd (Eds.), Social representations and the development of knowledge (pp. 126–143). Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511659874.008

Clark, A., & Chalmers, D. (1998). The extended mind. Analysis, 58(1), 7–19. https://doi.org/10.1093/analys/58.1.7

Duveen, G. (2000). Introduction: The power of ideas. In S. Moscovici & G. Duveen (Eds.), Social representations: Explorations in social psychology (pp. 1–17). Polity Press.

Duveen, G., & Lloyd, B. (1990). Introduction. In G. Duveen & B. Lloyd (Eds.), Social representations and the development of knowledge (pp. 1–10). Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511659874.001

Flick, U. (1995). Social representations. In J. A. Smith, R. Harré, & L. Van Langenhove (Eds.), Rethinking psychology (pp. 70–96). SAGE.

Flick, U. (2014). An introduction to qualitative research (5th ed.). SAGE.

Flick, U., & Foster, J. (2008). Social representations. In C. Willig & W. Stainton-Rogers (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of qualitative research in psychology (1st ed., pp. 195–214). SAGE. http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781848607927

Flick, U., Foster, J., & Caillaud, S. (2015). Researching social representations. In G. Sammut, E. Andreouli, G. Gaskell, & J. Valsiner (Eds.), The Cambridge handbook of social representations, (pp. 64–80). Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781107323650.007

Gibbs, R. W. (2005). Embodiment and cognitive science. Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511805844

Gillespie, A. (2012). Concluding comment: Contact without transformation: The context, process and content of distrust. In I. Marková & A. Gillespie (Eds.), Trust and conflict: Representation, culture and dialogue (pp. 201–216). Routledge.

Given, L. M. (Ed.). (2008). The SAGE encyclopedia of qualitative research methods. SAGE. http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781412963909

Goodwin, C. (1994). Professional vision. American Anthropologist, 96(3), 606–633. https://doi.org/10.1525/aa.1994.96.3.02a00100

Hansen, G. (2013). Many tracks lead to the goal: A long-term study on individual translation styles. In C. Way, S. Vandepitte, R. Meylaerts, & M. Bartłomiejczyk (Eds.), Tracks and treks in translation studies: Selected papers from the EST congress, Leuven 2010 (pp. 49–62). John Benjamins. https://doi.org/10.1075/btl.108.03han

Jodelet, D. (1991). Madness and social representations (G. Duveen, Ed., & T. Pownall, Trans.). Harvester Wheatsheaf. (Original work published 1989)

Jovchelovitch, S. (2007). Knowledge in context: Representations, community and culture. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203968895

Jovchelovitch, S., & Priego-Hernández, J. (2015). Cognitive polyphasia, knowledge encounters and public spheres. In G. Sammut, E. Andreouli, G. Gaskell, & J. Valsiner (Eds.), The Cambridge handbook of social representations (pp. 163–178). Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781107323650.014

Jääskeläinen, R. (2012). Translation psychology. In Y. Gambier & L. van Doorslaer (Eds.), Handbook of translation studies (Vol. 3, pp. 191–197). John Benjamins. https://doi.org/10.1075/hts.3.tra14

Kruger, H., & Kruger, J.-L. (2017). Cognition and reception. In J. W. Schwieter & A. Ferreira (Eds.), The handbook of translation and cognition (pp. 71–89). Wiley-Blackwell. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781119241485.ch4

Koskinen, K. (2012). Domestication, foreignization and the modulation of affect. In H. Kemppanen, M. Jänis, & A. Belikova (Eds.), Domestication and foreignization in translation studies (pp. 13–32). Frank & Timme.

Kujamäki, M. (2019). Source text influence in student translation: Results of a longitudinal study. The Interpreter and Translator Trainer, 13(4), 390–407. https://doi.org/10.1080/1750399X.2019.1615166

Lakoff., G., & Johnson, M. (1980). Metaphors we live by. The University of Chicago Press.

Leanza, Y., Rizkallah, E., Michaud-Labonté, T., & Brisset, C. (2017). From concern for patients to a quest for information: How medical socialization shapes family physicians’ representations of interpreters. Interpreting, 19(2), 232–259. https://doi.org/10.1075/intp.19.2.04lea

Liu, C.F.-M. (2017). A longitudinal study of translators in greater China. Hermēneus, 19, 121–138. https://doi.org/10.24197/her.19.2017.121-138

Marková, I. (1996). Towards an epistemology of social representations. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 26(2), 177–196. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-5914.1996.tb00528.x

Marková, I. (2012). Introduction: Conflict and trust in dialogical perspective. In I. Marková & A. Gillespie (Eds.), Trust and conflict: Representation, culture and dialogue (pp. 1–14). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203806265

Moliner, P., & Abric, J.-C. (2015). Central core theory. In G. Sammut, E. Andreouli, G. Gaskell, & J. Valsiner (Eds.), The Cambridge handbook of social representations, (pp. 83–95). Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781107323650.009

Moscovici, S. (1973). Foreword. In C. Herzlich (Ed.), Health and illness: A social psychological analysis (pp. IX–XIV). Academic Press.

Moscovici, S. (1984). The phenomenon of social representations. In R. M. Farr & S. Moscovici (Eds.), Social representations (pp. 3–69). Cambridge University Press.

Moscovici, S. (1988). Notes towards a description of social representations. European Journal of Social Psychology, 18(3), 211–250. https://doi.org/10.1002/ejsp.2420180303

Moscovici, S. (2008). Psychoanalysis: Its image and its public (G. Duveen, Ed., & D. Macey, Trans.). Polity Press. (Original work published 1961)

Muñoz Martín, R. (2010). On paradigms and cognitive translatology. In G. M. Shreve & E. Angelone (Eds.), Translation and cognition (pp. 169–187). John Benjamins. https://doi.org/10.1075/ata.xv.10mun

Muñoz Martín, R. (2016). Processes of what models?: On the cognitive indivisibility of translation acts and events. Translation Spaces, 5(1), 145–161. https://doi.org/10.1075/ts.5.1.08mun

Nord, C. (2012). Quo vadis, functional translation? Target, 24(1), 26–42. https://doi.org/10.1075/target.24.1.03nor

O’Connor, C. (2017). Embodiment and the construction of social knowledge: Towards an integration of embodiment and social representations theory. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 47(1), 2–24. https://doi.org/10.1111/jtsb.12110

Risku, H. (2010). A cognitive scientific view on technical communication and translation: Do embodiment and situatedness really make a difference? Target, 22(1), 94–111. https://doi.org/10.1075/target.22.1.06ris

Risku, H., Rogl, R., & Milosevic, J. (Eds.). (2019). Translation practice in the field. John Benjamins. https://doi.org/10.1075/bct.105

Saldanha, G., & O’Brien, S. (2013). Research methodologies in translation studies. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315760100

Sammut, G., Andreouli, E., Gaskell, G., & Valsiner, J. (Eds.) (2015). The Cambridge handbook of social representations. Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781107323650

Smith, N. W., & Joffe, H. (2009). Climate change in the British press: The role of the visual. Journal of Risk Research, 12(5), 647–663. https://doi.org/10.1080/13669870802586512

Suojanen, T., Koskinen, K., & Tuominen, T. (2015). User-centered translation. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315753508

van Doorslaer, L., Flynn, P., & Leerssen, J. (Eds.). (2016). Interconnecting translation studies and imagology. John Benjamins. https://doi.org/10.1075/btl.119

Voelklein, C., & Howarth, C. (2005). Review of controversies about social representations theory: A British debate. Culture & Psychology, 11(4), 431–454. https://doi.org/10.1177/1354067X05058586

Wagner, W. (2015). Representation in action. In G. Sammut, E. Andreouli, G. Gaskell, & J. Valsiner (Eds.), The Cambridge handbook of social representations, (pp. 12–28). Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781107323650.004

Wagner, W. (2017). Embodied social representation. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 47(1), 25–31. https://doi.org/10.1111/jtsb.12113

Wagner, W., Duveen, G., Farr, R., Jovchelovitch, S., Lorenzi-Cioldi, F., Marková, I., & Rose, D. (1999). Theory and method of social representations. Asian Journal of Social Psychology, 2(1), 95–125. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-839X.00028

Wagner, W., Duveen, G., Verma, J. & Themel, M. (2000). ‘I have some faith and at the same time I don’t believe’: Cognitive polyphasia and cultural change in India. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 10(4), 301–314. https://doi.org/10.1002/1099-1298(200007/08)10:4<301::AID-CASP585>3.0.CO;2-V