Bourdieu's key concepts of habitus, field and capital have been adopted or adapted to elaborate the social and cultural nature of translation or interpreting activity, to locate this activity within social structures and social institutions, and to analyse the cultural, historical and political specificity of translation and interpreting practices. This special issue of The Translator explores the emergence and subsequent development of Bourdieu?s work within translation and interpreting studies. Contributors to this volume offer their critical assessment of the force of Bourdieu?s arguments in clarifying, strengthening or challenging existing analyses of the role of the social in translation and interpreting studies. The topics include a consideration of the role of habitus and symbolic/linguistic capital in translation and interpreting within the legal field; a critical evaluation of how educational sign language interpreters serve to reinforce the continuation of exclusionary practices toward deaf pupils within mainstream schooling; a critique of the dominant historiography of the early translations of Shakespeare?s drama in Egypt; an exploration of Bourdieu?s concepts of habitus, capital and illusio in relation to the formation of the literary field in France and America in the 19th and 20th century; a re-evaluation of the potential for a theoretical alliance between Latour?
s actor-network theory and Bourdieu?s reflexive sociology; and a discussion of the ethnographic epistemological foundations of Bourdieu?s work with reference to political asylum procedures in Belgium. From varying perspectives, the papers in this volume demonstrate the contribution of Bourdieu?s work toward the continued elaboration of sociological perspectives within translation and interpreting studies.