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Assessing How Attitudes to Migration in Social Media Complement Public Attitudes Found in Opinion Surveys


Schneider, Gerold; Reveilhac, Maud (2022). Assessing How Attitudes to Migration in Social Media Complement Public Attitudes Found in Opinion Surveys. SPELL: Swiss Papers in English Language and Literature, 41:119-153.

Abstract

This article compares migration discourses in traditional opinion surveys and social media in a cross-country perspective among five Englishspeaking countries. Despite the extensive survey research on migration, social media discussions on migration remain understudied, and little is known about its potential complementarity to survey findings. On the basis of automated content analysis, we present insights into the salience of and sentiment about migration by comparing both data sources. We also investigate which societal factors and framing of migration influence the salience of social media discussions. We find support that, overall, there is a good correlation between salience of and sentiment toward migration, both in surveys and on social media. We also demonstrate that societal factors significantly impact the salience of migration online. The observed dynamics may nevertheless differ depending on the sample of users, thus demonstrating the different incentives that motivate users to engage with the migration topic online. Methodologically, our contribution also demonstrates the necessity to reflect on the impact of different data collection strategies on the obtained findings.

Abstract

This article compares migration discourses in traditional opinion surveys and social media in a cross-country perspective among five Englishspeaking countries. Despite the extensive survey research on migration, social media discussions on migration remain understudied, and little is known about its potential complementarity to survey findings. On the basis of automated content analysis, we present insights into the salience of and sentiment about migration by comparing both data sources. We also investigate which societal factors and framing of migration influence the salience of social media discussions. We find support that, overall, there is a good correlation between salience of and sentiment toward migration, both in surveys and on social media. We also demonstrate that societal factors significantly impact the salience of migration online. The observed dynamics may nevertheless differ depending on the sample of users, thus demonstrating the different incentives that motivate users to engage with the migration topic online. Methodologically, our contribution also demonstrates the necessity to reflect on the impact of different data collection strategies on the obtained findings.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > English Department
06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Computational Linguistics
06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Communication and Media Research
08 Research Priority Programs > Digital Society Initiative
06 Faculty of Arts > Zurich Center for Linguistics
08 Research Priority Programs > Digital Religion(s)
06 Faculty of Arts > Linguistic Research Infrastructure (LiRI)
Dewey Decimal Classification:820 English & Old English literatures
Uncontrolled Keywords:migration; opinion survey; social media; framing; content analysis
Language:English
Date:December 2022
Deposited On:16 Jan 2023 14:22
Last Modified:10 Feb 2023 09:54
Publisher:Universitätsverlag Winter
ISSN:2940-1658
OA Status:Hybrid
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.33675/SPELL/2022/41/10
Official URL:https://spell.winter-verlag.de/article/SPELL/2022/41/10
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)