Language competence as a moderator of ethnolinguistic identity gratifications among three language minorities in Europe

Laszlo Vincze, Jake Harwood


Using a social identity gratifications framework (Harwood, 1997, 1999), this paper examines the role of ethnolinguistic identity and language competence in influencing television viewing among three language minorities in Europe: the German minority in South-Tyrol, Italy; the Hungarian minority in Transylvania, Romania; and the Swedish minority in Southern Finland. Self-report questionnaire data were collected among secondary school students (N = 1443) in 2010. The results indicated that in settings where preference for, or consumption of, minority language media was relatively low, effects of identity on minority television language preferences were strongest for those who were least bilingual. In contrast, in settings where minority language television preferences were relatively high, the effects were stronger for more bilingual audience members. Findings and implications are discussed.


Television; Ethnolinguistic identity; Minority languages; German in South-Tyrol; Hungarian in Transylvania; Swedish in Finland


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Studies in Communication Sciences | ISSN: 1424-4896