9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN07 Sociology of Culture

2009-09-05 11:00:00 2009-09-05 12:30:00 Saturday, 5 September 11:00 - 12:30 Reality Constructions in the Public Sphere Building II, C4.07

A Comparative Study of Images and Representations of Foreign countries in European and U.S. Media

In this research I studied the role of the media in defining countries. Taking as examples France, Spain and the United States media (including newspapers and wire agencies). In short, how the media has contributed to the production and reproduction of social representations of other countries in their respective populations. This paper is based on content analysis of newspapers and one wire agency from each country. The analysis of newspapers was conducted on two of the outlets that are viewed as among the most influential in each country. As was expected, the European newspapers cover much more (in length and number of stories) the United States than the United States media covers Europe. The single most covered theme in all the outlets was politics. However, the proportion that politics take in the European outlets is 1/3 more than in the US outlets. The political coverage in all the media tends to be negative, and particularly in the European outlets regarding US policies. However, there are considerable differences also among the European outlets. Furthermore, several stereotypes are reproduced in these media about each country.