The micro project analysis solidarity claims in the public communication by citizens. We investigate online- and offline communication processes. In both ‘worlds of communication’, we examine the citizen to citizen communication (horizontal level) and the citizen to politician (vertical level). Our aim is not to analyse and assess the citizens communication of single individuals, but to identify dominant and marginal meanings of solidarity in the ‘citizens’ discourse’. Additionally, the study examines the extent to which shifts in the understanding of solidarity are reflected in the temporal and content-related dimensions.

Different types of data material are used for the analysis. Firstly, citizen inquiries to members of parliament are extracted from the online platform abgewordnetenwatch.de. In addition to inquiries to members of the Bundestag, inquiries to members of the Landtag in Bavaria, Saxony and Lower Saxony are examined. The selection of the parliaments follows on the one hand the federal political decision level with the Bundestag as central organ of the German political system and on the other hand regional differences between the federal states are to be captured.

Secondly, readers of national daily and weekly newspapers are examined. Regional and national newspapers as well as a weekly newspaper and a tabloid are selected for this purpose. In order to enable a comparative analysis of the enquiries from citizens in the three federal states, the regional daily newspapers from the above-mentioned federal states will be selected. In the selected media, the printed readers’ letters will be analysed.

Thirdly, comments under online articles of the selected media will be extracted, processed and examined from a text analytical perspective.

The different data material is obtained via web scraping and the use of various databases and then computer-linguistically processed. The texts are examined qualitatively and quantitatively with the help of computational linguistic methods. The focus is on quantitative text analysis. Frequency analyses of the texts will be used as well as co-occurrence analyses, topic modelling and cluster analyses. From a qualitative point of view, a structured content analysis as well as various discourse-analytical instruments can be used to identify topoi and frames from the ‘citizens’ discourse’ on solidarity.