The United States’ image abroad is falsely represented in much of the literature on global views of America. Popular pundits and academics alike represent foreigners’ views of America as one-dimensional, negative and static. In reality, perceptions of the United States are complex and emotional, frequently contain internal contradictions, and often change quickly.
In American Avatar, Barry A. Sanders uses his extensive international expertise to examine the roots of people’s views of the United States and what can be done to alter them. He assesses two components that shape attitudes – an individual’s memory bank of images informed by American geography, people, philosophy, history, and foreign policy and a predisposition or bias that influences which images are called forth from such memories. He analyzes both anti-American and pro-American biases, but focuses on the former, explaining which criticisms should be heeded when crafting foreign policy and communicating national objectives to friends and foes alike.
Barry A. Sanders is an Adjunct Professor of Communication Studies at UCLA and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Pacific Council on International Policy. His background includes experience in international business law and cross border negotiation.
More About the Speakers
Barry A. Sanders
Author and Adjunct Professor of Communication Studies, UCLA
Helle C. Dale
Senior Fellow for Public Diplomacy