The concept of image (English, image ) into United States is translated as image & quot ;. In Soviet sociology, it is common to divide these concepts. An image in the broad sense of the word is understood as a subjective picture of the world or its fragments, including the subject himself, other people, the spatial environment and the temporal sequence of events. Image is a logically modeled design, a tool for distorting a negative or positive image and reality. The object or bearer of the image and image can act as a separate person, product, service, and a group of people, organization, region, state, etc.
In international relations of peacetime, in essence, it is not so much the interaction of real states as their images that are formed under the influence of the media, subjective perception and historical experience. This means that all the real actions of the state are filtered through the prism of the image formed in the mind of the subject. This feature obliges modern states to develop a policy of policy that involves, on the one hand, the development of a symbolic space, on the other hand, identification mechanisms - who is inside , and who from the outside.
There are no special mechanisms of influence on the public consciousness in the image structure, whereas the image serves as an instrument for achieving this goal. Its design uses image resources (real qualities of the object), stereotyped representations, as well as its inherent characteristics (desirable). Therefore, the image is a secondary information structure.
Professor of the Diplomatic Academy of the US Foreign Ministry Erast A. Galumov in the design of the country's image identifies corrected and uncorrected components.
Uncorrected factors (conditionally static):
- natural resource potential;
- national and cultural heritage;
- geopolitical affiliation, etc.
Adjustable factors (conditionally dynamic):
- socio-psychological sentiment in society;
- forms of socio-political integration of the population, etc.
Adjustable institutional factors (conditionally dynamic):
- the stability of the economy;
- the legal space of the country, etc.
The researcher emphasizes that in the mass consciousness
First of all, the projection of the politico-geographical image is introduced, which represents the state as a certain territory of the world in the conditions of a certain foreign policy environment. Then the natural resource, civilization-cultural, socio-economic, production-economic and national-value images are consistently formed.
The whole set of efforts to design an image in the information space appears as an operational system, each element of which enters into an interaction or mutual negation relationship with other components, which ultimately produces either a positive or negative view of the individual, social group, organization , a symbol, a country in the world political space. Due to the fact that media space (verbal communication, mass media) is the arena of the functional action of the image, the component analysis (linguistic reconstruction of the image) becomes the most productive procedure that helps to adequately assess the quality of the relationship between the information elements of the image structure.
E. A. Batalov identifies the most important functions of the international image. Among them:
- the function of forming public opinion;
- a function of influence on the destinies of the state;
- a function of influence on the development of world economic relations;
- the function of influence on the behavior of actors in the world arena.
Official documents, foreign policy doctrines, press releases of the information services of the President, Prime Minister, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as speeches of former and current statesmen are the starting material for creating an international image of a specialist. A significant role in shaping the image of the country is played by analysts and experts, the academic community, famous composers, writers, scientists, movie stars, representatives of high fashion, etc.
Currently, the international image of the state plays the role of the main communication unit designed to form in the public consciousness of the partner countries a certain expected response. Therefore, the design of the image is one of the important areas of international activity.
In addition to the mass media, informal organizations of compatriots abroad, educational and language centers, lobby groups, theatrical collectives, etc. play an important role in promoting the image of the state.
A change in the basic views of the public in relation to the state is possible only if there is a sudden change in the situation in a given country or an emergency: a war, a coup d'état, a terrorist act on a national scale, and so on. The less a person has real information about the country, the more stereotyped in his mind will be the image of this state. As the British sociologist Z. Bauman writes, the farther away from us is a certain point of the continuum, the more generalized, typologized is the idea of the people designated by it.
However, in an era of global openness, the notions of countries-positive or negative-specifically characterize the development of international relations.
International brand image of the country
Along with image-making, the development has received activity on the creation of another analytical design - brand image of the country, accumulating a set of positive sociocultural characteristics, consumer expectations and associations.>
The brand phenomenon (from English, brand - brand) has both a theoretical explanation and social value. The practice of its creation is connected with the social relations of a large medieval city, in which trade has taken a dominant position in relation to productive labor. In modern conditions, the use of the country brand is motivated by the desire to configure cultural achievements, the desire to preserve its national identity. According to the definition recognized in the marketing environment, brand is a set of qualities associated with the name, and its visible symbol, which enhances the consciousness of the value of things or phenomena associated with this symbol (David Akker). Brand image is used by many countries of the world, but they are most widespread in the countries of the European Union.
Feature of branding are marketing and communication technologies, developed by commercial organizations to manage the country's image in the international environment.
Famous British political consultant Simon Anholt and owner of international ratings of cities and countries ( Anholt-GfK Roper City Brands Index and Anholt-GJK Roper Nation Brands Index) considers the brand of the country as a message of the state about itself, broadcast on six communication channels (Figure 4.2).
Fig. 4.2. Scheme of construction of the image brand of the country by S. Anholt
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