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Durham e-Theses
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Translation as an Ideological Mechanism: A Study of Ideology and Interpellation in English Translations of the Qur’an

HAROUN, YAZID (2019) Translation as an Ideological Mechanism: A Study of Ideology and Interpellation in English Translations of the Qur’an. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



Scholarly work in the field of Translation Studies (TS) has a tendency to focus only on the political aspects of the term “ideology”. Such a reductive approach to this concept risks overlooking other, and not less important, meanings that the term encompasses. This study, therefore, embraces an inclusive and broader definition of ideology in order to demonstrate its potential for understanding translation as a social activity. Drawing on Louis Althusser’s theory of ideology and notion of interpellation, this study explores the functioning aspects of ideology in the context of translation. In the frame of Althusser’s theory, ideology is always-already embedded in translation within or without the state. Within the state, translation operates at the level of the ideological state apparatus, conforming to and reproducing the dominant state ideology as part of the state’s struggle for hegemony. Without the state, translation operates as a (counter) ideological apparatus, resisting the prevailing ideology, thus also striving for domination. Althusser’s notion of interpellation allows identifying translation as part of those functioning aspects of ideology that influence the process of “becoming” translators, thus their agency. Such conceptualization of ideology illuminates how the actual process of “becoming” has a great deal to do with power relations and frameworks of beliefs and assumptions. As a case study, this research examines the potential of the inclusive theory in the context of English Qur’an translations, with analysis of both the textual and paratextual levels. Overall, this study demonstrates that an inclusive understanding of ideology brings new insights into the study of translation as a social activity.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Althusser; ideological state apparatus; ideology; interpellation; Qur’an translations; Qur’an translators
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Modern Languages and Cultures, School of
Thesis Date:2019
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:30 Mar 2020 11:17

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