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14 - The Theatre-Audience Method

from Part 3 - Indirect Methods of Attitude Elicitation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 June 2022

Ruth Kircher
Affiliation:
Mercator European Research Centre on Multilingualism and Language Learning, and Fryske Akademy, Netherlands
Lena Zipp
Affiliation:
Universität Zürich
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Summary

The theatre-audience method is an indirect approach to ‘measuring’ implicit language attitudes by means of a social-psychological experiment, designed in an attempt to escape the ‘artificial’ laboratory-like contexts of the typical matched- and verbal-guise studies. The method works as follows: Over a number of evenings, an invitation to answer a questionnaire is given in different languages or varieties over the loudspeaker system in a theatre, and the varying level of cooperation is measured as the ratio of answered questionnaires to sold tickets – and interpreted in terms of variation in attitudes towards the languages or varieties used in the loudspeaker announcements. This chapter discusses the strengths of this method (e.g. data collection in a ‘natural’ context) and its limitations (e.g. the fact that people in the audience are not the same from evening to evening), and it explains the key practical issues of planning and research design (e.g. considerations regarding the choice of weekdays in order to secure comparability across evenings). Moreover, the chapter explains how to conduct statistical analyses of the data. A case study of attitudes towards varieties of Danish illustrates the main points made in the chapter.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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  • The Theatre-Audience Method
  • Edited by Ruth Kircher, Mercator European Research Centre on Multilingualism and Language Learning, and Fryske Akademy, Netherlands, Lena Zipp, Universität Zürich
  • Book: Research Methods in Language Attitudes
  • Online publication: 25 June 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108867788.018
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  • The Theatre-Audience Method
  • Edited by Ruth Kircher, Mercator European Research Centre on Multilingualism and Language Learning, and Fryske Akademy, Netherlands, Lena Zipp, Universität Zürich
  • Book: Research Methods in Language Attitudes
  • Online publication: 25 June 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108867788.018
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • The Theatre-Audience Method
  • Edited by Ruth Kircher, Mercator European Research Centre on Multilingualism and Language Learning, and Fryske Akademy, Netherlands, Lena Zipp, Universität Zürich
  • Book: Research Methods in Language Attitudes
  • Online publication: 25 June 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108867788.018
Available formats
×