This article expands Kjersti Ørvig's discussion (2009, 2007) of interpreter-mediated dialogues in the public sector. Using modern linguistic perspectives, we rebut Ørvig's placing of linguistic-theoretical positions in the field of interpreting. We contest Ørvig's presentation of two different models of communication in analyzing interpreter-mediated dialogues.
This article explores how and why women read women's magazines. Media statistics clearly demonstrate that the weekly press is a gendered form of media in Norway: Women are by far the most eager readers, and a substantial number of publications compete for their attention. However, quantitative surveys offer little explanation as to why and how women's magazines are read. This article explores these questions through a qualitative approach, analysing data from a qualitative questionnaire and a series of in-depth interviews of subscribers to a popular Norwegian women's magazine. Drawing on theories about the role of media in everyday life, the analysis emphasizes that women's magazines are read in order to create a personal space for relaxation, a room of ones own. However, while the act of reading is important in itself, the analysis also emphasizes readers critical engagement with women's magazine texts. Readers experiences with these texts are analysed in light of theories about lifestyle and reflexive identities.
In this article I present some challenges for a diagnostic sociology of contemporary modern societies. The first is to pick out the defining characteristics of such theories. On the definition introduced below, they are conceptually mediated, empirically testable and totalizing models of contemporary modern societies. Due to their unique level of generalization, such theories must be demarcated from thick descriptions, theories of the middle range, social ontologies, total theories, historical narratives and trend analyses. Next I introduce six particular challenges confronting this kind of sociological theorizing: heterogeneity of theories and vocabularies, selection of structural principles, the unit of analysis, local variation, empirical testing, and a proper methodology. To discuss how they can be resolved, I present an outline of a diagnosis of the present based on eight structural principles: functional differentiation, individualization, institutional reflexivity, disembedding, formalization, social stratification, risk and democracy. Throughout, my overall aim is to argue for a proper place within the sociological division of labor for «grand» theories of modernity. Such theories also display a potential for ameliorating the lack of theoretical integration pestering a rather fragmented and empirically oriented Norwegian sociology today.