International image theory, emotions, and social identifications: Turks' images and action tendencies toward the U.S.
Bilali, Rezarta (2004) International image theory, emotions, and social identifications: Turks' images and action tendencies toward the U.S. [Thesis]
This research is an empirical test of the international image theory. It builds on and extends the Alexander, Levin, and Shana's (in press) work on the Lebanese images of the U.S., Lebanese perceptions of the Lebanon - U.S. structural relations, and the Lebanese social and religious identifications, by replicating their work in Turkey and extending it to assessing Turks's action tendencies and emotions toward the U.S. The goal is to examine the structure of theory components - perceived structural relations, images, and action tendencies - and their inter-relationships, as well as to attempt to build one more block in the formal incorporation of emotions into image theory framework, and inclusion of social identifications as independent individual variables having an impact on the formation of images and action tendencies. A sample of two hundred twenty six undergraduates at a private university in Turkey participated in the survey. All the participants filled out a questionnaire assessing their perceptions of Turkey - U.S. structural relations, images, action tendencies, and emotions they experienced toward the U.S., as well as the degree of their identifications with their religious group, national/ethnic group, with the Arab world, the Western world, and identification with the Americans. The results indicate that the respondents in this sample endorse an imperialist image and both resistance and cooperation action tendencies toward the U.S. The structure of images and action tendencies is found to be slightly different from the typical ideal images and action tendencies described by the theory; however, supporting image theory's basic assumption that images are a function of the inter-group relationships and serve to justify these relationships and the behavioral tendencies they provoke. Strong evidence is provided on the need for the incorporation of emotions and social identifications into image theory framework.
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