American Sociological Association

Toward a Hermeneutic Model of Cultural Globalization: Four Lessons from Translation Studies

Many scholars study the global diffusion of culture, looking at how institutions spread culture around the world or at how intermediaries (or “cultural brokers”) adapt foreign culture in the local context. This research can tell us much about brokers’ “cultural-matching” or “congruence-building” strategies. To date, however, few scholars have examined brokers’ interpretive work. In this article, the author argues that globalization research needs to pay more attention to interpretation. Building on translation studies, the author shows that brokers’ work is shaped by (1) how they imagine their dual roles, (2) how they imagine different parts of the world, (3) how they interpret a text’s intertextuality, and (4) how their audience imagines the foreign Other. In this way, the author lays the groundwork for a hermeneutic model of cultural globalization.


Isabel Jijon





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