(Re-)imagining language, nation and collective identity in the 21st century: Language ideologies as new connections in post-Yugoslav digital mediascapes

postdoctoral research project
Basic Info

  • Project Executive on ZRC

    Ksenija Bogetić Pejović, PhD
  • Original Title

    (Re-)imagining language, nation and collective identity in the 21st century: Language ideologies as new connections in post-Yugoslav digital mediascapes

  • Code


  • Duration

    since October 1, 2019 to October 1, 2021
  • Financial Source

    Slovenian Research Agency

This project investigates the links in conceptions of language and nation in the post-Yugoslav space, spanning six states (Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia), and zooming in on news media texts and connected social-media citizen discourses. In its focus, the research also aims to respond to broader gaps in sociolinguistics and social science, where the understanding of ideas of nationhood in relation to language has been identified as a central gap, only amplified in the era of digital networks, new media and flows of people that radically change how we see group belonging.

Theoretically and methodologically, the project emphasizes the blurring of the lines between media producers and consumers that has brought novel dynamics of ideology construction. In reaching the objectives, an interdisciplinary methodological synergy (bringing together Critical Discourse Analysis, Language Ideology and Corpus Linguistics) is proposed, envisaged as a contribution to future studies of language and society in the digital era.

The research to be conducted addresses two objectives: (1) assessing and comparing the salience of the relationship between ideas of language and ideas of national identity – in mainstream media texts and digital citizen responses, and (2) assessing the potential of citizens' digital discourses on language to (re)create social connections while challenging established divisions and standardlanguage ideologies. In contrast to work on post-Yugoslav societies focused on disintegration and conflict, the project turns the focus around, evaluating the ways that the increasingly multivoiced, 'bottom up' practices of language reflection can contribute to challenging established perceptions of language, nation, and difference. Finally, a distinct facet will involve re-evaluating the insights beyond academic circles, by opening up the project findings in a range of online and offline contexts, in order to ultimately form a tradition of a more sensitive conversation on languages – connected, divided and defined through prisms of politcs and history – with both the local experts and the wider publics.


Expected project results:
1. A specialized corpus of news media texts and digital citizen comments
2. Empirical findings on current language ideologies in media texts and comments in six post-Yugoslav states
3. Elaboration of a new methodological synergy
4. A stronger scholarly network of post-Yugoslav sociolinguists
5. International conference
6. Edited volume/Thematic issue
7. Scientific articles in journals
8. Series of public events
9. Presentations at international conferences