Advertisement

Human Affairs

, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 539–557 | Cite as

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

  • Magda Petrjánošová
  • Sylvie Graf
Research Article
  • 34 Downloads

Abstract

Respondents from Austria (N = 146) and the Czech Republic (N = 165) 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 (dis)agreement as well as on the (dis)advantages of both approaches.

Key words

language communication intergroup attitudes intergroup contact critical discursive analysis content analysis 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Abell, J., Condor, S., Stevenson, C. (2006). ’We are an Island’: Geographical Imagery in Accounts of Citizenship, Civil Society and National Identity in Scotland and in England. Political Psychology 27(2), 191–217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Allport, G. W. (1954). The Nature of Prejudice. Cambridge/Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  3. Hamberger, J., Hewstone, M. (1997). Inter-ethnic Contact as A Predictor of Blatant and Subtle Prejudice: Tests of A Model in Four West European Nations. British Journal of Social Psychology 36, 173–190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Carli, A., Guardiano, C., Kaučič-Baša, M., Sussi, E., Tessarolo, M., Ussai, M. (2003). Asserting Ethnic Identity and Power through Language. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 29(5), 853–883.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Erzberger, C., Kelle, U. (2003). Making Inferences in Mixed Methods: The Rules of Integration. In A. Tashakkori, C. Teddlie (Eds.). Handbook of Mixed Methods in Social & Behavioral Research, pp. 457–488. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  6. Hřebíčková, M., Kouřilová, S. (2012). Jak se vidíme, jak nás vidí a jací jsme: porovnání českého národního auto-a heterostereotypu s posuzováním reálných Čechů v kontextu pětifaktorového modelu osobnosti. [How we see ourselves, how we are seen and how we are: Comparison of national auto- and heterostereotypes with ratings of real people in context of five-factor model of personality.] Československá psychologie 56, 1–17.Google Scholar
  7. Johnson, R. B., Onwuegbuzie, A. J. (2004). Mixed Methods Research: A Research Paradigm whose Time Has Come. Educational Researcher 33, 14–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Johnson, R. B., Onwuegbuzie, A. J., Turner L. A. (2007). Toward a Definition of Mixed Methods Research. Journal of Mixed Methods Research 1, 112–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Kouřilová, S., Hřebíčková, M. (2011). Accuracy of Slovak National Stereotypes: Result of Judgment or Intuition? Studia Psychologica 53, 201–213.Google Scholar
  10. Kouřilová, S. (2011). Perception of Intergroup Contact in Border Regions: A Czech-Austrian Case Study. In M. S. Roberto, M. T. Batista, M. H. Santos, R. Morais, R. S. Costa, M. L. Lima (Eds.). Research Directions in Social and Organizational Psychology (vol. IV). Lisbon: Edições Colibri.Google Scholar
  11. Kouřilová, S. (2011). Jedinec v meziskupinových vztazích: Od sociální kategorizace k předsudkům. [The Individual in Intergroup Relations: From Social Categorization to Prejudice.] Československá psychologie 55, 12–24.Google Scholar
  12. Lášticová, B., Petrjánošová, M. (in press). Social Identities, Societal Change and Mental Borders. An Empirical Study of Identity Construction Strategies in Young Slovaks Commuting between Bratislava and Vienna. In T. Magioglou (Ed.). Culture and Political Psychology: a Societal Perspective. Greenwich: InfoAge Publishers.Google Scholar
  13. Leix, A. E. (2011). Vztah Poláku k Čechum — vývoj a souvislosti (The Historical Background and Current Relations between the Poles and the Czechs). In K. Bartošová, M. Čerňák, P. Humpolíček, M. Kukaňová, A. Slezáčková (Eds.). Sociální procesy a osobnost 2011: člověk na cestě životem: křižovatky a mosty (Social Processes and Personality 2011: Humans on their Way through Life — Crossroads and Bridges). Brno: Tribun EU, pp. 171–175. CD-ROM.Google Scholar
  14. Meinhof, U., Armbruster, H., Rollo, C. (2003). Final Report: Discourse — Changing Identity, Changing Nations, Changing Stories in European Border Communities. Available at ftp://ftp.cordis.europa.eu/pub/citizens/docs/ok_hiep_hpsect_99_00003_final_border_discourse.pdf
  15. Petrjánošová, M. (2011). “Musim přiznat, že mě to velmi příjemně překvapilo — žádná rivalita, ale vzájemná pomoc“: o snahe integrovať kvalitatívnu a kvantitatívnu analýzu“ (“I have to say I was pleasantly surprised — no rivalry but mutual help”: about an attempt to integrate qualitative and quantitative analysis.) In M. Šucha, M. Charvát, V. Řehan (Eds.). Kvalitativní přístup a metody ve vědách o člověku X: vybrané aspekty teorie a praxe (Qualitative approach and methods in humanities X: chosen aspects of theory and practice), pp. 292–299. Olomouc: Univerzita Palackého v Olomouci.Google Scholar
  16. Petrjánošová, M. (2012). “I can’t speak German so I can’t communicate with them”: language use in intergroup contact between Czechs and Germans. In Human Affairs: Postdisciplinary Humanities and Social Sciences Quarterly 2012, 22,(1) 69–78. Available online: 〈http://www.springerlink.com/content/1210-3055/〉.Google Scholar
  17. Pettigrew, T. F. (1997). Generalized Intergroup Contact Effects on Prejudice. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 23, 173–185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Pettigrew, T. F. (1998). Intergroup Contact Theory. Annual Review of Psychology 49, 65–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Pettigrew, T. F., Tropp, L. R. (2006). A Meta-Analytical Test of the Intergroup Contact Theory. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 90, 751–783.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Plichtová, J. (2002). Metódy sociálnej psychológie zblízka: Kvalitatívne a kvantitatívne skúmanie sociálnych reprezentácií (A close up view of social psychology methods: Qualitative and quantitative research into social representations). Bratislava: Média.Google Scholar
  21. Reisigl, M., Wodak, R. (2001). Discourse and Discrimination. Rhetorics of Racism and Antisemitism. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  22. Wright, S. C., Tropp, L. R. (2005). Language and Intergroup Contact: Investigating the Impact of Bilingual Instruction on Children’s Intergroup Attitudes. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations 8, 309–328.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Versita Warsaw and Springer-Verlag Wien 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Research in Social CommunicationSlovak Academy of SciencesBratislavaSlovakia
  2. 2.Institute of PsychologyAcademy of Sciences of the Czech RepublicBrnoCzech Republic

Personalised recommendations