Colombians’ Sociocultural Representations of French and U.S. Citizens Delving into Intercultural Perceptions

José Aldemar Álvarez Valencia (1) , Damien Le Gal (2)
(1) Universidad del Valle and University of San Buenaventura, Colombia , Colombia
(2) Universidad del Valle and University of San Buenaventura, Colombia , Colombia


This study analyzes sociocultural representations about French and U.S. citizens. Drawing on a word association methodology, a thematic and semantic analysis was conducted on a corpus of 4000 words, obtained from surveys completed by 200 Colombians. Findings indicate that representations of U.S. citizens relate to white-Americans’ physical traits, consumerism, economic, and political power whereas the French -save for their personal hygiene- draw a much more positive image in relation with gastronomy, fashion and clothes. Implications of these findings point at the role of mass media in the construction of stereotypes and attitudes and the need to foreground intercultural education in curricular programs.

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José Aldemar Álvarez Valencia (Primary Contact)
Damien Le Gal
Author Biographies

José Aldemar Álvarez Valencia, Universidad del Valle and University of San Buenaventura, Colombia

José Aldemar Álvarez Valencia is a Professor of applied linguistics in the Department of Foreign Languages and Cultures at Universidad del Valle, Colombia. He has published in the areas of discourse analysis, language teaching approaches, teacher education, intercultural communication and multimodality. His current research focuses on the connection between multimodal communication and intercultural communication.

Damien Le Gal, Universidad del Valle and University of San Buenaventura, Colombia

Damien Le Gal is an English teacher within the Language Center of the University of San Buenaventura, Colombia. He has published in the areas of the sociocultural approach to language teaching, the use of textbooks and intercultural communication. His current research interests converge towards the intercultural competence and the use of simulation as a language teaching methodology.

Valencia, J. A. Álvarez, & Gal, D. L. (2019). Colombians’ Sociocultural Representations of French and U.S. Citizens Delving into Intercultural Perceptions. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 19(3), 1–14.

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