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University of Gothenburg

Linguistic Explorations of Societies

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The world in data.
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Linguistic Explorations of Societies (LES) is an innovative strand of research, seated at the Department of Political Science, which cuts across the disciplines of social science, computer science and computational linguistics. LES draws on recent developments in natural language processing to meet the challenges facing the changing landscape of comparative survey research.

Using language technology in conjunction with online text data from a large number of languages and countries, we address issues of survey item comparability and measurement equivalence in cross-cultural surveys with a particular focus on survey translations. Assessing possibilities and challenges related to data distribution and access, availability and representativity of data sources as well as data ownership and privacy, we seek to provide a state-of-the-art account on how to use online text data in relation to existing survey data.

Our interdisciplinary research team include researchers from Mid Sweden University, the Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE), Södertörn University, the University of Bergen, GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences and the University of Toronto. We also collaborate with a commercial partner, the Swedish language technology company Gavagai.