Sociological approaches to translation have been developed on the basis of the insight that translation is an activity deeply affected by social configurations. The search for understanding of the mechanisms underlying translation viewed as a social practice has promoted the development of a number of analytical tools which have helped shed light on the various constituents accounting for the involvement of translation in larger social contexts in general and the social nature of translation in particular. The newly developed approaches have shifted attention to various research fields which so far have been partly under-researched and/or under-theorized: training institutions, working conditions, professional institutions and their social role, questions of ethics in translation, (auto)biographies of translators and interpreters, larger accounts such as translation on the global market, sociopolitical aspects of translation, translation and its role in activism (see Committed approaches and activism), and many more. The fields under investigation have been particularly broad: from literary translation to pragmatic translation, localization, sign language interpreting, court interpreting, and public service interpreting (see Community interpreting).
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