Translators As Self-Entrepreneurs in Brazil and France: A Profession at Stake with New Public / Private Boundaries

Sunday, 10 July 2016: 09:00
Location: Hörsaal 6A P (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Frederic REY, CNAM, France
Olivier GIRAUD, Lise-CNRS-Cnam, France
Our paper proposes a comparative analysis of the impact of the rocketing success of self-employment on the profession of translator in the last years in both Brazil and France.

Since the mid-2000’s, self-employment has been actively promoted in both Brazil and France. In both those countries, this modernized employment norm has aimed at organizing the grey zone between independent work, informal labour and wage-labour providing access to protections and entitlements (Giraud et al., 2014). In the profession of translator, this highly flexible and cost-containing employment norm overcomes the classical cleavage between independent and wage labour. More precisely, today’s self-employment triggers a multi-dimensional process of transformation of the public / private boundary: First, by providing incentives to informal workers to enter an institutionalized form of employment; Second, by lowering the costs of opportunity for the firms to replace employment contracts by the acquisition of provision on the market; Third, by removing most institutionalized and collective protections from the standard employment relations; Fourth, by facilitating the possibility to transfer the work-place from the firm to the private homes of the workers and by easing the fragmentation of working-time.

In that context, Brazil and France make up two contrasted cases as regarding their historical and socio-economic contexts as well to a lesser extent to the legal framework of self-employment. The comparative analysis of the logics of redefinition of the four-dimensional private-public boundaries triggered by the employment norm of self-employment on the profession of translator will be carried out on the basis of in-depth interviews about the work trajectories of translators on both sides of the Atlantic.