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2020-12-03 - Colloque/Présentation - communication orale - Anglais - page(s)

Carfagnini Astrid , "Mediating for undocumented migrants: looking at interconnected communities of practice through an interactional and socio-discursive approach" in 7th International Conference on PSIT /Community Interpreting and Translation, Universidad de Alcalá, Spain

  • Codes CREF : Communication interculturelle (DI4718), Communication interpersonnelle (DI4717), Traduction (DI5326)
  • Unités de recherche UMONS : Traductologie (T202)
Texte intégral :

Abstract(s) :

(Anglais) Abstract: This paper explores the co-constructed communicative strategies and challenges of intercultural and language mediators within centres for undocumented migrants in Italy. In a setting as dramatic and full of suffering as the CIE (Rudvin & Pesare 2015) or the CARA in Italy, the role of mediators is extremely complex and goes beyond the scope of their mandate. Mediating for newly arrived migrants who are confined in “non-places” (Augé 1992) trapped in a Dantesque limbo takes on a much more powerful social, psychological and emotional dimension. The analysis is based on 19 recorded mediated interactions of medical consultations and recorded semistructured interviews with mediators and service providers along with observations and field notes conducted in-situ. The research was carried out in three different types of reception centres, between October 2013 and March 2014, while the interviews were carried out over the same period of time, as well as in 2019 for further in-depth analysis. Two of the centres operated under the supervision of the Ministry of the Interior: one was hosting asylum seekers (called CARA – Reception Centre for Asylum Seekers) and the other one hosted undocumented migrants waiting to be identified and repatriated (called CIE – Centre for Identification and Deportation). These centres provided services such as psychological, legal and medical assistance. All these services were interconnected in order to provide comprehensive assistance. Therefore, the mediators were asked to assist migrants in all these services and, as they were on-site all day long, they were also pro-active in anticipating conflicts, misunderstandings and when necessary in calming down tense situations. Therefore, mediators happened to assist migrants in and out of “formal” encounters. In order to explore links between the mediator’s communicative choices and the context around which he works, we draw on Wenger’s Community of practice theory (Lave and Wenger 1991, Wenger 1999) to focus on the mediator as a socially situated actor participating in interconnected communities of practice. The dynamics of communities of practice show a more fluid and complex view of how people and interactions can move in and out of the services and show the interplay between co-constructed common practices, meanings and identities (Mason 2014). The triangulation of these corpus-based findings with ethnographic data, interviews and field observation, will stress the social role of mediators. It will highlight how their discursive strategies are strongly dependent on the context (Inghilleri 2003) in an attempt to reach the overarching goal which is to bridge linguistic and cultural gaps and assist migrants through the regularization process, whenever possible. By adopting an interactional and socio-discursive approach, this 17 paper aims at explaining the mediator’s choices, interactionally and interpersonally, and at emphasizing the crucial role of discourse in negotiating, reinforcing or challenging power relations. Key words: Intercultural Language Mediator, Reception Centres, Community of Practice.