Legal Interpreters in the Investigation of Criminal Cases: Types of Professional Behavior and Social Practices

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation:  Leading Researcher
Affiliation: Sociological Institute of FCTAS RAS
Address: Russian Federation, St.-Petersburg
Journal nameSotsiologicheskie issledovaniya
EditionIssue 2

The article presents the results of a study of professional activities of interpreters in the process of investigation of criminal cases involving migrants from post-Soviet states in today’s Russia. The author relies on Pierre Bourdieu’s general sociological theory and his analysis of the juridical field. The empirical research methods that have been used in the study include semi-structured interviews. The peculiarities of formal and informal interaction of interpreters with the sides involved in the process of investigation are revealed in the article. A classification of types of professional behavior of legal interpreters is proposed. It has been found that the type of professional behavior adopted by an interpreter is defined first of all by his/her level of education, legal status and also social characteristics. The article singles out the models of behavior of interpreters which depend on the size of a diaspora, the degree of ethnic solidarity and the density of social ties. Since legal interpreting is included into asymmetrical power relations within the juridical field, special attention in the study has been devoted to revealing the strategies and tactics used by interpreters and jurists. It is demonstrated in the article that the current structure of the juridical field predetermines reproduction of a homologous system of stratification of the interpreters’ community.

Keywordssociology of law, juridical field, law enforcement bodies, migrants, legal interpreters, types of professional behavior
Publication date25.03.2021
Number of characters33299
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