Giustini, D. (2019). ‘I thought I could get away from gender discrimination’: linguistic instrumentalism and self-actualisation of female interpreters in temporary employment in Japan.
This article explores the narratives of a group of Japanese women who, to escape gender discrimination in regular employment, deploy their linguistic expertise in temporary employment as interpreters. It uses the interpreting profession for an ethnographic understanding of a temporary form of skilled linguistic work and women’s aspirations. It finds that interpreting, and the ethos of linguistic instrumentalism it carries, promises work–life balance and career growth, but also that informants’ engagement with interpreting is not immune from gender stereotypes and occupational segregation.