Russian-American Relations: Update 2

At this point in my project I have almost finished my literature review! In my previous update I talked about trying to find more resources about Russian perceptions of Americans. I was not able to find much, but I did find an article written by a Russian news source that argued Russians thought the negative portrayal of their country in Hollywood films was comedic. It discussed the frequency of horrible Russian accents and grammatical and spelling mistakes. Additionally, the article argued that the consistent representation of Russians as antagonists to Americans was positive for Russia. The author stated that it proved Russia’s importance on the international scale and that the United States still thinks of Russians as real threats. While this article was published on a news site that has sometimes published propaganda from the Russian government, I think there is some weight to the logic it offers.

Another interesting thing I found during the later part of my research was a 2013 Gallup poll that stated 2013 was the first year in 15 years where Americans had viewed Russia unfavorably or as an enemy of the United States. This finding seemed to run contrary to all the other research I have done that states Americans view Russians negatively because of the depiction of the villainous Russian in Hollywood films. However, after more research I had a moment where I realized these findings were not mutually exclusive. Americans did not view Russia as an enemy country because as a whole, the country was not believed to have the capability to be a threat. Russia was seen as a backwards country that would never posses the power to defeat the United States. On the other hand, Russians were seen as ruthless people because they were thought to be victims of their circumstances. Americans were and continue to be led to believe that Russians were turned cold and harsh so as to deal with struggles that faced them during the Soviet Union. Therefore, Americans could simultaneously find Russians to be cunning and scary in their films while thinking that these people were too greedy and self serving to ever be able to come together to take on the United States.

The research and work I have put into this project have led me to want to do more research on the topic of the influence of media. I am excited to finish this project and find a way to create a new one to build on this!