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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Willkommenskultur: A Computational and Socio-linguistic Study of Modern German Discourse on Migrant Populations

  • Author(s): Hartnett, Sabina
  • et al.
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License

In the lingering wake of the European Refugee Crisis of 2015, population demographics within Germany’s borders continue to change. As these changes occur, sentiments in relation to incoming populations also shift. This essay details the findings of a socio-linguistic study of the portrayal of migrant populations in a corpus of news articles recently collected from four popular German news venues. Using topic modeling, (a computational method of large-scale text analysis), this study analyzes the discourse surrounding and sentiment toward migrant populations in German news media. By exploring the media contexts of the terms Flüchtling, Ausländer and Einwanderer this study reveals how media representations further propagate stereotypes and prevent the integration of migrant populations into German society.

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