Chaos in court: mediatized expressions of upset in relation to Danish courtroom interpreting

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This paper discusses a disturbance to the Danish legal system, a cornerstone in the state of law. We focus on ‘expressions of upset’ during a reorganization of Danish legal interpreting, which was followed closely by the Danish media. We analyze these expressions as ‘communicative uptakes’ and we discuss how they made different elements of the interpreting affair salient. The elements include assumptions about what legal interpreting is or should be, its societal role and relevance. We argue that the uptakes integrated the interpreting situation with the institutionalized aim of the social space in which they occurred, and we draw on Agha’s theory of ‘mediatization’ to account for the relations between the overall situation and the various expressions of upset, and between the institutional roles of participants and mediatized aspects of the spaces. Data come from a trial, a meeting in the Danish Parliament, and a blog thread. The study thereby illustrates a communicative (thus, social) process in a modern (thus, complex) society in which a social event at societal level (so-called large-scale) is received and made meaningful by many different social actors in a variety of ways, thereby creating links between otherwise unconnected spaces.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of the Sociology of Language
Issue number275
Pages (from-to)21-41
Publication statusPublished - 2022

ID: 339623854