Collectivities in translation (studies): Towards a conceptual framework

Since the cultural and social turn, translation studies has been interested in the role translation practices play in the construction of the socio-cultural world. In particular, it has been concerned with the effects translation practices have on the formation of all kinds of groups, communities or identities: national cultures, genders, social/political movements, and linguistic minorities, for example, have been examined in different ways as to their translational constructedness. In this introductory article, the authors propose to bring these various research endeavours together under one conceptual umbrella by adopting the notion of ‘collectivities.’ The notion serves as a cover term encompassing different shapes, durations, and sizes of collectivities and as a heuristic device within a coherent framework. The analytical value of such a framework, it is argued, consists in integrating existing and future research by relating individual approaches to each other and comparing them.

Dizdar, Dilek and Tomasz Rozmysłowicz 2023: Collectivities in translation (studies): Towards a conceptual framework. Translation in Society 2:1,  John Benjamins.

The article is available here.

Toward Parsimony in Bias Research: A Proposed Common Framework of Belief-Consistent Information Processing for a Set of Biases

One of the essential insights from psychological research is that people’s information processing is often biased. By now, a number of different biases have been identified and empirically demonstrated. Unfortunately, however, these biases have often been examined in separate lines of research, thereby precluding the recognition of shared principles. Here it is argued that several—so far mostly unrelated—biases (e.g., bias blind spot, hostile media bias, egocentric/ethnocentric bias, outcome bias) can be traced back to the combination of a fundamental prior belief and humans’ tendency toward belief-consistent information processing. What varies between different biases is essentially the specific belief that guides information processing. More importantly, it is proposed that different biases even share the same underlying belief and differ only in the specific outcome of information processing that is assessed (i.e., the dependent variable), thus tapping into different manifestations of the same latent information processing. In other words, the authors propose for discussion a model that suffices to explain several different biases. They thereby suggest a more parsimonious approach compared with current theoretical explanations of these biases. They also generate novel hypotheses that follow directly from the integrative nature of our perspective.

Oeberst, Aileen and Roland Imhoff 2023: Toward Parsimony in Bias Research: A Proposed Common Framework of Belief-Consistent Information Processing for a Set of Biases. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 0:0.

The article is available here.

Prenatal Sex Role Stereotypes: Gendered Expectations and Perceptions of (Expectant) Parents

People assign attributes to a different degree to other persons depending on whether these are male or female (sex role stereotypes). Such stereotypes continue to exist even in countries with lower gender inequality. The present research tested the idea that parents develop sex role consistent expectations of their babies’ attributes based on fetal sex (by ultrasound diagnostic), as well as gendered perceptions of their recently newborn babies. A total of 304 dyads of predominantly White expecting parents from Germany were followed over the course of pregnancy until after the birth and completed a sex role inventory on their babies’ expected (before birth) as well as perceived traits (after birth). Specifically, they rated to what extent they expected their babies to have normatively feminine traits (e.g., soft-spoken and warm) and normatively masculine traits (e.g., independent and assertive) twice before birth (first half of pregnancy, six weeks before due date) and to what extent they perceived their baby to have these traits eight weeks after birth. The results suggested that fathers held gendered expectations and perceptions, whereas mothers did not. These results suggest that male and female babies are likely to encounter sex role stereotypes about their alleged attributes as soon as their birth.

Imhoff, Roland and Lisa Hoffmann 2023: Prenatal Sex Role Stereotypes: Gendered Expectations and Perceptions of (Expectant) Parents, Archives of Sexual Behavior, Springer.

The article is available here.

Becoming ‘(Ab-)Normal’: Normality, Deviance, and Doing Life Course Transitions.

This chapter examines how a particular kind of life course transitions, those between affiliations to categories of “human distinctions” like gender, ethnicity, or age, are culturally observed in terms of their normality or deviance. It asks how framings and doings of such transitions as (not) ‘normal’ are related to those of individuals in transition. To this end, it introduces the analytical framework of “un/doing differences” as a way of understanding categorizations of humans as the product of drawing distinctions and connects it to the concept of “doing transitions”. It argues that doing transitions can be understood as one mode of un/doing differences. To illustrate this point, the chapter presents reflections on how affiliations to human categories, combinations of affiliations, and of doing transitions between them are linked to cultural definitions of normality and deviance.

Cover: Doing Transitions in the Life Course

Boll, Tobias 2022: Becoming ‘(Ab-)Normal’: Normality, Deviance, and Doing Life Course Transitions. In: Walther, Andreas/Stauber, Barbara/Settersten, Rick (Hg.): Doing Transitions in the Life Course – Processes and Practices. Springer, S. 169-183.


The notion of solidarity is, in everyday life, often connected to migration and refugees. But which relationships and actions are actually described with the term is only loosely defined. Heike Drotbohm starts her article with the history of the term and the contradictory dimensions of meaning that emerged from that history. She then analyzes examples of pro-migrant activism in europe and the challenges of variations of solidarity that emerge out of compassion

Drotbohm, Heike (2022): „Solidarität“, in: Inken Bartels, Isabella Löhr, Christiane Reinecke, Philipp Schäfer, Laura Stielike (Hg.), Inventar der Migrationsbegriffe, 07.10.2022.

The article is available in german here.

Care beyond Repair

To care about and for others—that is other people, collectivities, plants, animals, or the climate—is a mundane and ubiquitous act. At some point in life, almost every human being needs to be cared for, encounters care, and eventually provides care. In anthropology, the critical notion of care provides an analytic tool for seriously considering life’s contingencies and for understanding the ways that people ascribe meaning to different kind of acts, attitudes, and values. This chapter argues that the concept’s normative dimension forms part of a cultural binarism that hierarchizes the world according to differently valued spheres of existence. Concentrating on this normativity as inherent to the notion, the chapter distinguishes three complementary empirical fields: care as (globalized) social reproduction, care as institutionalized asymmetry, and care beyond human exceptionalism. It becomes clear that care oscillates between two different perspectives, producing a particular tension. On the one hand, the care concept features a protective and conservative dimension that is congruent with the past. On the other hand, the concept incorporates a transformational dimension through its notions of development, progress, and improvement. To move beyond our own (potentially or inevitably) academic, Eurocentric, or human-centric understanding of the notion, this essay suggests moving “care beyond repair.” We can do so, first, by asking what role research plays in this differentiating ethics and, second, by identifying perspectives and positionalities that, at first glance, appear indistinct or inarticulate and hence do not confirm already-familiar categories of evaluation and distinction. Seen this way, care beyond repair draws attention to the making and unmaking of human existence.

Drotbohm, Heike 2022: Care beyond Repair. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Anthropology. New York: Oxford University Press.

The text is available in english and, in the journal "Mana", in a portuguese translation.


End of Hell? Brazil’s Election and a Community Kitchen of the MTST

On 30/10/2022, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Lula) of the Workers’ Party won an exceptionally close runoff election against the current far-right president of Brazil, Jair Messias Bolsonaro. For volunteers of a community kitchen (Cozinha Solidária) of the leftist Homeless Workers Movement (MTST), Lula’s victory represents an enormous relief and a hope after the long period of anxiety during the election campaign. Elena Maria Reichl describes the perspective of the kitchens volunteers in a blog post.

Reichl, Elena Maria 2022: End of Hell? Brazil´s Election and a Community Kitchen of the MTST. In: Focaalblog, available under: