What is it about?

- a novel approach is initiated in the paper to outline global images and cultural distances from national stereotypes - our conceptual apparatus applies an extension of the "CATNET" concept introduced by Harrison White toward cognitive maps with national-ethnic groupings and attributes attached to them - in matching the dual character of the catnet conception, the network methodology builds on a new line of the two-mode techniques - our empirical apparatus employs an adaptation of a classical piece of comparative research by Buchanan and Cantril - based on surveys from Greece and Hungary as two country cases, the paper also includes varied qualitative material to interpret the findings under various historical-cultural settings

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Why is it important?

Based on the responses of Greek and Hungarian people, we found that self-images in both countries are strongly influenced by ideas about the border situation between East and West, and South and North, but also by ideas about exceptionalism. According to the results of the networked visual configurations based on the measurement of the national stereotype, the distinctive aspects of the segmentation of the cognitive maps highlight the global images that differ from the general pattern. The perception of economic crisis plays thereby a decisive role. An especially polarised representation of international relations was observed for the most heavily economic crisis-stricken segment in the Greek case. The crises of the last decades rearranged the cognitive maps, and even the national stereotypes that reduce the complexity of the outside world did not remain untouched.


It was a great pleasure to write this article, as I wrote it with co-authors who I have worked with for a long time. This article also led me to advance my dissertation and ultimately to my greater involvement in belief networks research.

Gábor Jelenfi
Eotvos Lorand Tudomanyegyetem

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This page is a summary of: Mapping Cultural Distances in a Catnet Approach, Comparative Sociology, March 2022, Brill,
DOI: 10.1163/15691330-bja10047.
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