“The Austrians were surprised that I didn’t speak German”: The role of language in Czech-Austrian relations

Human Affairs 22 (4):539-557 (2012)

Abstract
Respondents from Austria and the Czech Republic noted down their experiences with people from their neighbouring country and their attitudes to their own country and the neighbouring nation on feeling thermometers. The quantitative content analysis and qualitative critical discourse-inspired analysis of the open statements focused on the role of language in the construction of Czech-Austrian relations. Using qualitative analysis we enquired as to which themes were intertwined with the topic of language, and as to the ways in which the participants perceived themselves, the Others, behind the border, and the relations between the two sides. We looked not only into what participants said but also how they said it. Using statistical analysis we tested the link between language-related topics in the descriptions of intergroup contact and the evaluation of the neighbouring nation as a whole. Throughout the article we compare the findings obtained by the two kinds of analysis and comment on agreement as well as on the advantages of both approaches
Keywords language  communication  intergroup attitudes  intergroup contact  critical discursive analysis  content analysis
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DOI 10.2478/s13374-012-0043-y
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