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Accessing social meanings: Values of keywords, values in keywords

Williams, Angela Marian, Garrett, Peter Donald and Evans, Betsy 2005. Accessing social meanings: Values of keywords, values in keywords. Acta Linguistica Hafniensia: International Journal of Linguistics 37 (1) , pp. 37-54. 10.1080/03740463.2005.10416082

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Attitudes are by their nature not easy to define and, therefore, to research, and there are constant turns towards methodological reappraisal. Here, we outline an approach to data collection that we call ‘keywords’, considering it in relation to information processing theory and the elicitation of stereotypes, making comparisons with other methodological approaches. We appraise some of our experiences in using this technique in our own recent research, and consider the value of keywords by weighing up some of the difficulties against the advantages relating to their use. In doing this, we also consider the complexities of interpreting keywords data - the values in keywords - due to reduced context and culturally variable semantics. We conclude that one of the main strengths in the technique is that it allows better access to the local vernacular resources that respondents draw upon in their characterisation of language varieties and of their users.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PE English
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 0374-0463
Last Modified: 02 Jan 2018 20:55

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