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'It's complicated' European media discourse on the USA from Reagan to Obama
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Journalism, Media and Communication (JMK).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8429-3028
2011 (English)In: International journal of cultural studies, ISSN 1367-8779, E-ISSN 1460-356X, Vol. 14, no 1, 3-14 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Media debates after the invasion of Iraq suggested that there was a growing anti-Americanism in Europe and that this contributed to an increasing sense of European identity as representing values that differed from that of the USA. But what if this anti-Americanism was really anti-Bushism, and how shared are the shared values on the European side when it comes to representation of the USA as Other? The articles in this Special Issue focus on the discursive image of the USA in the elite media of five European countries at points in time from a particularly frosty Cold War period under President Reagan until six months after the installation of President Obama. Taken together, there are broad similarities in the paradigms and characteristics used to depict the USA from the post-Cold War period, especially in French, Finnish, Swedish and German media. Below the surface, however, the narratives reveal that each country's commentators are mainly interested in the USA in relation to domestic concerns or as a prism for its relationships with other countries on the world stage. There is a stark focus on the US presidents as symbols through which the USA as a whole is seen. Both Democratic and Republican presidents are likened to Rambo, the 'space cowboy', the 'trade and cultural warrior', or Hollywood 'stars', which could be interpreted as a measure of cultural disdain towards American popular culture and militarism.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 14, no 1, 3-14 p.
Keyword [en]
elite media, European identity, symbols, USA
National Category
Media and Communications
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-68649DOI: 10.1177/1367877910384180ISI: 000288872400001OAI: diva2:473658

authorCount :2

Available from: 2012-01-06 Created: 2012-01-04 Last updated: 2014-11-14Bibliographically approved

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Riegert, Kristina
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