Lexical Worlds Travelling in Translation
Self, identities and relationships, as depicted in a Mexican novel anchored in different cultural and linguistic contexts
Literary texts have recursively encountered social psychology and related disciplines, particularly in theoretical frameworks that focus on meaning-making such as the social representations perspective. The present study explores the relationships between text and context in a collection of short stories published in different languages: Women with Big Eyes by Ángeles Mastretta. The ouvre was examined using lexicometric analyses, i.e. Reinert’s Descending Hierarchical Analysis, in order to identify emerging worlds of meaning. From the three analysed versions (the original Spanish, the Italian, and the English translation), different lexical worlds are identified that likewise recreate the general idea of the book. However, interesting variations in meaning-making emerged, as grounded in specific cultural and linguistic contexts. The results appear to legitimise the use of literary texts in social psychological analyses, also in their translated versions, although with some caveat. The paper closes underscoring the importance of studying meaning-making in context, thus enhancing the potential of literary texts for research in social psychology and in related fields of knowledge.