Unfolding occupational boundary work: Public service interpreting in social services for structurally vulnerable migrant populations in Finland

Camilla Nordberg, Hanna Kara


This article explores occupational boundaries in the context of public service interpreting with structurally vulnerable migrant populations, raising questions about what kind of knowledge becomes valued and what kind of intersectional hierarchies are produced within a transforming social service landscape. Drawing on conceptualisations of boundary work and occupational (mis)recognition, we analyse written and oral diaries produced by public service interpreters in spring 2022. The research participants are of diverse professional and ethnic backgrounds and based in different urban and rural regions of Finland. We show how occupational misrecognition, at the structural and at the floor level, impacts on the possibilities of public service interpreters’ professional and ethical conduct. As such, it ultimately also affects the right to fair and equal treatment for structurally vulnerable service users who are dependent on interpreter-mediated social services.


Public service interpreting; Finland; social work; linguistic justice; boundary work; migrants

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7203/Just.1.25002


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