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Translation in cross-cultural research: an example from Bolivia

Translation in cross-cultural research: an example from Bolivia
6 pages

Authors
Maclean, Kate

Editors
Eade, Deborah
Journal
Development in Practice Volume 17 Issue 6 Violence, Fear and Development in Latin America

Publication date
01 Nov 2007

DOI
10.1080/09614520701628287

Publisher
Oxfam GB
Routledge

Type
Journal article

Translation raises ethical and epistemological dilemmas inherent in cross-cultural research. The process of communicating research participants' words in a different language and context may impose another conceptual scheme on their thoughts. This may reinforce the hegemonic terms that Development Studies should seek to challenge. The article explores the idea that a reflexive approach to translation can not only help to overcome the difficulties involved in cross-cultural research, but also be a tool with which to deconstruct hegemonic theory. It addresses the epistemological and political problems in translation, techniques of translation, and the impact of translation on the author's own research, which is used to illustrate some of the ways in which translation can support deconstruction and highlight the importance of building a framework for talking with rather than for research participants.

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