Russian-American Relations Through Media Final Post

I have completed my literature review which tracks the media’s past and present effects on the perceptions Russians and Americans have of one another. My paper looks at Soviet/Russian, and American media and the way it has portrayed citizens of the other country. Initially I discuss the importance of media and its power to both inform and reflect an audience’s views. This dual role is especially interesting when analyzing films as historical films can teach a viewer about a time period such as the Cold War, but also have an intrinsic bias that the viewer could unconsciously internalize.

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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.

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Russian-American Relations in the Media Update 1

At this point in my project I have completed the majority of my research analyzing to what extent the perceptions Russians and Americans have of each other has been influenced by the media. My research consists mostly of articles that analyze both Russian and American newspapers, movies, and television. Furthermore, my research is most concentrated in the time periods during and after the Cold War as they have been and continue to be the most tumultuous times in the countries’ histories.

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The Relationship Between Russian-American Relations and Media Portrayal

This history of Russian-American relations is a tumultuous one. Beginning in the 1940s with the start of the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union, what is now Russia, were at odds. The political tensions between the two nations permeated every sector of American civilian life. Throughout middle school and high school, American students are taught of villainous Soviets who were to be hunted down and brought to justice in the United States. Stories of Joe McCarthy and Soviet spies seem to make it clear that the Soviets were, completely and unequivocally, the enemy. Therefore, it is understandable that the media adopted this mentality and created the trope of the Russian villain. However, this trope has continued long past the collapse of the Soviet Union when Russia is no longer an outright enemy of the United States. Why has the American public so willingly clung to this portrayal in an era when younger generations were not alive during the Cold War? This paper will analyze the ways in which the portrayal of Russians as villains in American films as affected how the American public perceives Russians as a whole. Furthermore, this paper will attempt to discover if the same is true in Russian created media. Where Americans negatively portrayed during the Cold War and has there been any continuity in their portrayal following the end of the Cold War and an era of peace?