Reitz’ dissertation project is linked to the thematics of the research group ”Literary Linguistics”, with a special emphasis on the situation of minorities: Reitz analyses the characterisation of the Finnish-speaking minority in Sweden in Swedish and Sweden-Finnish fiction. She is especially interested in the use of common stereotypes in constructing and manifesting identities. The Swedish majority’s perspective is approached to via the “Irene Huss” novels by Helene Tursten. The Sweden-Finnish minority’s perspective is analysed through one of the few books by Sweden-Finnish authors, namely Susanna Alakoski’s autobiographical novel Svinalängorna (Pig Stables). The theoretical and methodological framework of Reitz’s research combines in a novel way the methodology introduced by Martin & Rose in their influential book Working with Discourse with Teun van Dijk’s theories on prejudice and racism in discourse.
Claudia Reitz graduated in 2006 from the University of Mainz with the master's thesis „The minority policies of the Council of Europe and its effects on the situation of Finland-Swedes and Sweden-Finns“. The thesis combined her two major subjects – Political Science and Northern European Languages and Cultures – with her main fields of interest: minority languages, language policies and the sociology of language.