Publication details [#17332]

Tyulenev, Sergey. 2009. Why (not) Luhmann? On the applicability of social systems theory to translation studies. Translation Studies 2 (2) : 147–162.
Publication type
Article in jnl/bk
Publication language
Person as a subject


This article discusses Niklas Luhmann's social systems theory as applied to translation against the background of other systemically informed paradigms in translation studies. There have been three ways of studying translation from the systemic point of view. (1) Translation was considered as a unique system comprised of phenomena distinct from any other type of social phenomena. (2) Translation was studied as a subsystem within a larger system of related phenomena (polysystem theory). (3) Lastly, translation was put in a larger social context: it was viewed in its connection to social discourse. I argue that the sociocritical paradigm may take a further step and use Luhmann's social systems theory for studying the social role of translation. Social systems theory provides helpful tools for a sociocritical student of translation in theorizing translation as a system's boundary phenomenon.
Source : Abstract in journal