Stereotypes among and about Costa Ricans and Nicaraguans : a case study of the Isla Calero conflict
Through different qualitative approaches this thesis analyses the (re)creation of stereotypes among and about Nicaraguans and Costa Ricans in the context of the Isla Calero conflict which began in 2010. The findings are based on questionnaires, interviews and observations conducted in Costa Rica and Nicaragua in late 2011. An analysis of news items produced in both countries during the first month of the conflict also sheds light on the use of stereotypes in these societies. Although both countries claimed to want peace and reconciliation, the discourses employed during the time of research have contributed to a deeper division between Costa Rica and Nicaragua. The countries competed over the representation as peaceful, while stereotyping the other as conflict seeking. Through emphasising difference and not similarities, myths about the other were (re)created within both societies. Further, the discourses in the two countries largely ignore the points of view of the other. This constructs a hegemony of representation and stereotyping within each country that (re)creates the boundaries between Us and an Other. Also, through mythologizing historical events, national stereotypes are naturalised within the societies, creating perceptions of difference as inevitable facts.
ForlagUniversitetet i Tromsø
University of Tromsø
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