Opendata, web and dolomites


How Language Oppresses

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "HaLO" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: Berlin
postcode: 10117

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Germany [DE]
 Total cost 174˙806 €
 EC max contribution 174˙806 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2018
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2019
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2019-04-01   to  2021-03-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

Oppressive speech is speech that harms and disempowers its targets. It also seeks to influence third parties, changing their behaviour and attitudes towards targets, legitimating discrimination, creating implicit bias, and inciting to hatred and violence. The purpose is ultimately to change society: it’s not just doing unjust things with words, but it’s creating and maintaining unjust structures of social power. Oppressive speech is thus one of the most urgent social and political issues of our time.

There is currently no simple, unifying framework that models oppressive speech or explains its many effects. The proposed research project seeks to address this gap through a multidisciplinary approach that combines the complementary strengths of game theory, and theories of social norms and social injustice. The core idea is that conversational games are embedded within a larger social game such that oppressive conversational games focus on the acquisition of power in the larger social game to achieve later payoffs. I hypothesise that game theory can be used to explain fundamental phenomena of interest in the context of oppressive speech: (i) the effects of oppressive speech within a conversation; (ii) the shifting of conversational and social norms that govern the conversational and social games; (iii) the motivation of some people to oppress others through speech and the role that speech plays in maintaining social injustice.

The research objectives are three interlinked parts of a new model of oppressive speech: RO1 Deliver an initial model of oppressive speech as a conversational game that alters power. RO2 Deliver an extension of the model from RO1 that explains the harmful social effects on targets, by explaining how oppressive speech sets up unjust social norms. RO3 Deliver a model extending RO1 and RO2 that explains how unjust social structures affect speech, what motivates agents in a group to oppressive acts, and what is needed to change harmful norms.

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The information about "HALO" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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