Communicating foreign cultures : the workings of the culture peg in international reporting and communication
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Serving as a key concept throughout, “the culture peg,” stereotype-themed content in international news articles in major national newspapers was investigated empirically and theoretically employing quantitative and qualitative methodologies. As operationalized in a content analysis project, this study identified significant amount of such content in three leading news media from three different countries, the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan. The volume of it increased significantly in approximately three decades between 1985 and 2014. Theoretical inquiry in this dissertation identified strong connections between such empirical findings and existing theories in social psychology, cultural studies and communication. The way culture pegs are employed in the news, it was found, is highly consistent with the social identity theory from social psychology, the ritual view of communication from communication studies, use of myth in reporting facts and events and certain conceptualizations of culture from cultural studies. This dissertation concludes that national cultural stereotypes essentially behave like culture does generally – as explicated by cultural scholars – and that stereotypes in the media are effective in attracting audience attention because they resonate through the discursive framework commonly shared by the producers of news and the audiences, both of who possess similar cultural frames.