Language dynamics of immigration discourse and it's consequences
Title: Language dynamics of immigration discourse and it's consequences
DNr: NAISS 2024/22-494
Project Type: NAISS Small Compute
Principal Investigator: Miriam Hurtado Bodell <>
Affiliation: Linköpings universitet
Duration: 2024-04-03 – 2025-05-01
Classification: 50401


This project is meant to be used as a resource for studying language dynamics between different groups in society, focusing how they talk about immigration, ethnic minorities, and neighborhoods associated with high clustering of ethnic similar others, but also other things. How people talk about events, people and places are theorized to reflect their interpretations and beliefs about them as well. However, the empirical evidence of how people's perceptions and actions go together is still underdeveloped. In a series of paper, we will explore: (1) studying how language evolves over time when discussing different issues online, in academia, in newspapers, and in business. Answering the questions: what makes discussions evolve over time, and when do different groups in society converge/diverge in how they talk? (2) How well do measures of how people talk about places/groups correspond with the characteristics of these places/groups align? What can explain alignment, and does it matter for individual-level actions? We conduct (1) by using dynamic word embeddings on different corpora and explore how different concepts are talk about in different contexts over time. We conduct (2) by comparing the context in which different groups of society discuss different groups and places and compare it to what we can learn about these groups and places from Swedish register data. Comparing how concepts relate in the language (using word embeddings) with how they relate in "reality" will help us answer long-standing questions about how people form their perceptions about the world. Understanding the diffusion of new language helps us understand the role of opinion homophily in language use and the politicizing power of languages. Connecting how people talk to how the act is also one fundamental piece of the unanswered puzzles about how people navigate the social world.