ERIC Number: ED335624
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-May
Reference Count: N/A
The Image of the Enemy--from an External, Military to an Internal, Civilian Enemy.
Educational and Psychological Interactions, n108 May 1991
As a part of a cross-national project this study examined enemy images among 200 Danish college students, using an associative technique. Students were given 2 minutes to write down quickly all the words that occurred to them after hearing a specific stimulus expression "enemies of our country." One of the main results noted was the few students searched for "enemies" outside of the country. Instead, civil and domestic problems inside Denmark were brought into focus, such as "social and economic problems" and "we ourselves," pointing to a certain polarized everyday consciousness among the respondents. Negative associations to the Soviet Union and the United States were almost negligible, as were the associations given to avoiding war by military means. Such use of the enemy concept (for an internal and non-military use mainly) is possibly caused by the retreat of cold war rhetoric in the late 1980s, but could also be interpreted along with other studies showing no stereotypes of nationality (East or West) among ordinary people concerning questions of peace and war. Preliminary comparative data from the Soviet Union and Sweden indicated that the neutral Swedes had the most intact image of an external enemy and the Danes seemed to react more like the Soviets, with both groups looking for the enemy in their own countries. The technique of written associations appeared to be a useful instrument. (Author/ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Lund Univ. (Sweden). Malmo School of Education.
Identifiers: Denmark; Enemies; Sweden