Interpreting and Translation Policy in UK Asylum Applications
This thesis explores the interpreting and translation policies of two governmental agencies and two voluntary sector organisations active in the asylum application process in the UK in order to reach a more informed understanding of the factors which come to bear on the articulation of social policy. It considers whether relationships emerge between discourses inherent to the institutional(ised) interpreting and translation policies and wider discourses of immigration, social in/exclusion and multiculturalism, as interpreting policy is potentially used to enforce specific ideologies.
Bourdieusian sociological perspectives are utilised to establish a theoretical framework in which social agents position themselves in relation to each other, institutions, and discourse on the basis of habitus, field and capital. Critical Discourse Analysis methodology enables the institutional(ised) discourse that emerges from the policy texts to be linked at three separate, but intricately connected, levels. The policies are analysed to reveal the identities and relations between the agents involved in the interpreting service provision, how discourse is produced on the basis of these relationships and, finally, the relationship of these discourses to wider social and political discourses.
The research reveals that interpreting and translation policies in the asylum application context extensively draw on social and political discourses in order to reinforce specific patterns of social behaviour, or to utilise these same discourses to engage with them and offer a challenge to dominant power relations.