In his PhD thesis Melvin Wevers MA (Cultural History) offers a data-driven, longitudinal analysis of the historical dynamics that have underpinned a long-term, layered cultural-historical process: the emergence of the United States as a dominant reference culture in Dutch public discourse on consumer goods between 1890 and 1990. On 15 September he will defend his dissertation in Utrecht University Hall.
Newspapers upholding stereotypes
The ideas, values, and practices associated with the United States in public discourse remained relatively steady over time, which might explain the country’s longevity as a reference culture and its power to shape sociocultural debates. This robust core of ideas, values, and practices was partly driven by events in the United States and the nation’s actions on the global stage, but for a large part it also resulted from the fact that newspapers, as part of public discourse, narrated a particular perception of the United States, effectively creating and upholding a stereotype.