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National Stereotypes

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Title: National Stereotypes


1
National Stereotypes
  • The Case of France and America

William L. Chew III, PhD Professor of History
In association with
2
Todays Road Map
  • Brief intro of speaker
  • Relevance of topic / imagological manifesto
  • Theoretical background of imagology (image
    studies)
  • Franco-American stereotypes key lenses through
    which the other is viewed

3
Brief Intro of Speaker
Field Specialist with Personal Experience
  • Multi-cultural background and education
  • Doctoral dissertation
  • Branch out into image studies during past decade
  • Published two books and numerous case study
    articles on subject
  • Confronted with stereotypes on daily basis in
    Brussels and Vesalius College

4
Relevance of Topic
Promote Inter-Cultural Awareness Understanding
Manifesto for imagology We are all imagologists,
even if we do not realize the fact, and we
cannot function socially and politically, in a
humane and reasoned fashion, as individuals or
groups, without studying the (national)
stereotypes so current in our collective memory.
For these stereotypes color, to a large extent,
not only our self-perception (our auto-image)
via the image of the other (our hetero-image),
but determine for better and, regrettably, more
often, for worse our behavior toward the other.
Indeed historically, this behavior has taken
forms as relatively harmless as bad ethnic jokes
and as noxious as ethnic cleansing and the
Holocaust. (Chew 2001 3-4)
5
Theoretical Background
Imagology / Image studies
  • Concept of national character
  • Birth and evolution of imagology as an academic
    discipline
  • Imagology insights
  • Imagology interdisciplinarity
  • Imagology models

6
Imagological Models
  • North-South
  • Northern Type vigorous, virtuous, honest, hard-
    working, rational
  • Southern type temperamental, impulsive, highly
    sensitive, lazy, tendency towards criminal
  • Center-Periphery
  • Center dynamic, progressive, modern
  • Periphery static, traditionalist, backward
  • Strong state / Weak state
  • State at height of power is threat ? negative
    stereotype
  • Weak state is non-threatening ? positive
    stereotype

7
Franco-American Stereotypes
Key Lenses of Perception Since 18th Century
  • Politics Democracy / Despotism
  • Race Racism-Apartheid / Color-blindness
  • Materialism /-
  • Gender women in society
  • Why these particular lenses? ? Key concerns of
    19th 20th centuries
  • Significance of self-serving dynamic

8
Select References (all Chew)
  • Images of America Through the European
    Looking-Glass. Ed. William L. Chew III. Brussels
    VUB University P, 1997.
  • National Stereotypes in Perspective Americans in
    FranceFrenchmen in America. (Ed.) William L.
    Chew III. Rodopi Press Amsterdam/Atlanta, 2001
    (Studia ImagologicaAmsterdam Studies in Cultural
    Identity 9).
  • Yankees Visit the European Home of Liberty
    Revolutionary Politics As Experienced by American
    Travelers, 1780-1815". The Consortium on
    Revolutionary Europe, 1750-1850. Selected Papers,
    1998. (Eds.) Kyle O. Eidahl and Donald D.
    Horward. Florida State University Institute on
    Napoleon and the French Revolution, 1999. 53-70.
  • Straight Sam Meets Lewd Louis. American
    Perceptions of French Sexuality, 1775-1815.
    Revolutions Watersheds Transatlantic
    Dialogues, 1775-1815. Eds. W.M. Verhoeven, Beth
    Dolan Kautz. Amsterdam Rodopi, 1999 (DQR Studies
    in Literature 26 61-86).
  • Jean-Marie Meets Mary-Jean 19th-Century French
    Travelers and the American Woman Revisited. in A
    Tribute to Armand Michaux. (Eds.) Alain Sinner et
    Jean-Jacques Weber. (Publications du Centre
    Universitaire de Luxembourg. English Studies 9).
    Luxembourg Centre Universitaire de Luxembourg,
    2000. 31-64.
  • From Romanticism to Realism American Tourists
    in Revolutionary France. The Consortium on
    Revolutionary Europe, 1750-1850. Selected Papers,
    2000. (Eds.) Donald D. Horward, Michael F.
    Pavkovic and John K. Severn. Florida State
    University Institute on Napoleon and the French
    Revolution, 2002. 40-54.
  • Life Before Fodor and Frommer? Yesteryear
    Americans in Paris from Jefferson to John Quincy
    Adams, French History 18 (Mar 2004) 25-49.
  • Whats in a National Stereotype? An Introduction
    to Imagology at the Threshold of the 21st
    Century, Language and Intercultural
    Communication. 6 (2006) No. 3 4 179-187.
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