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On Empirical Research and the Case Study Method in Translation Studies

Ji-Hae Kang 1

1아주대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study examines the case study method in translation studies in terms of the ways in which the method may be used to enhance our understanding of the complex inner workings of translation. Although case studies of translations and translators, as well as source texts and translation events, are fairly prevalent in translation studies, this method remains an under-researched topic within the discipline. Case studies are often praised for their ability to provide detailed and in-depth knowledge of cases but criticised for their inability to generalize research findings. This paper starts out by exploring the concept of “empirical” in the context of translation research and the status and role of the case studies method as a subtype of empirical research method (cf. Williams and Chesterman 2002). Although “empiricism” in translation studies has often been approached narrowly in positivist terms, researchers are increasingly taking diverse opinions regarding the nature of empirical data and method. Based on this perspective, the study argues that the value of the case study method lies in tracking complex processes and linking complicated causes and outcomes. Case studies plays a key role in providing a detailed understanding of causal mechanisms in translation events and showing the complicated ways in which translation- related concepts and theories are sensitive to contexts.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.