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Italian happy parents in Twitter

Working paper n°: 117

Unit: Population Dynamics and Health

Author(s): Letizia Mencarini, Delia Irazú Hernández-Farías, Mirko Lai, Viviana Patti, Emilio Sulis, Daniele Vignoli.

Year: 2018

This article explores opinions and semantic orientation around fertility and parenthood by scrutinizing filtered Italian Twitter data. We propose a novel methodological framework relying on Natural Language Processing techniques for text analysis, which is aimed at extracting sentiments from texts. A manual annotation for exploring sentiment and attitudes to fertility and parenthood was applied to Twitter data. The resulting set of tweets (corpus) was analysed through sentiment and emotion lexicons in order to highlight how affective language is used in this domain. It emerges that parents express a generally positive attitude towards their children and being and become parents, but quite negative sentiments on children’s future, politics and fertility and also parental behaviour. Exploiting geographical information from tweets, we find a significant correlation between the prevalence of positive sentiments about parenthood and macro-regional indicators for both life satisfaction and fertility levels.


Letizia Mencarini Bocconi University
Delia Irazú Hernández-Farías Universitat Politècnica de València
Mirko Lai
University of Turin
Viviana Patti
University of Turin
Emilio Sulis
University of Turin
Daniele Vignoli
University of Florence

Language: English

The paper may be downloaded here.

Last updated 16 April 2018 - 09:45:37