Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

You mean I get to show up? Exploring meaning, purpose, and calling in the American Sign Language interpreting profession through the lens of spiritual guidance
by Pfingst, Barbara, M.A., Sofia University, 2015, 107; 1599155
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis studied the relationship professional American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters have with their lived experience of work, specifically examining how it connects to meaning, purpose, and calling. Currently in the United States of America, there are over 63,000 interpreters, many of whom interpret between spoken and visual languages, such as English and ASL. Interpreters throughout the United States work with many diverse people in various locations, such as medical, mental health, legal, education, and business venues. Although the ASL interpreting profession has considered interpreting paradigms, skill development, and professionalism, there are few, if any, studies that have focused on the lived experience of the working interpreter as it relates to meaningfulness, purpose in life, and calling.

This qualitative study was philosophically informed by the transcendental phenomenological method. Two ASL interpreters volunteered to respond to 6 questions using a spiritual guidance framework to structure the interviews. Spiritual guidance is a formal process of listening deeply and authentically, which creates a space for a deepening of transformational processes within the individual. The general questions that were explored were (a) how does interpreting fulfill a sense of meaning, purpose, and calling; (b) how does meaning, purpose, and calling inform connections between self and work; (c) do interpreters sense their work serves a larger purpose; and (d) how might spiritual guidance play a role in the process. The results of this study suggested that the participant interpreters have deeply meaningful work experiences and that spiritual guidance can be a lens in which to view and cultivate this relationship.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Huffman, Anne
Commitee: Wolf-Pizor, Kate
School: Sofia University
Department: Low-Residency Spiritual Guidance
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 55/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Occupational psychology, Spirituality
Keywords: ASL, Deaf, Interpreting, Sign language, Spiritual guidance, Spirituality
Publication Number: 1599155
ISBN: 978-1-339-05355-4
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