National stereotype  

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"What’s heaven? Heaven is where the police are British, the chefs are French, the mechanics are German, the lovers are Italian and the bankers are Swiss.

So then, what’s hell? Hell is where the police are German, the chefs are British, the mechanics are French, the lovers are Swiss and the bankers are Italian." [...]

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

There are many stereotypes surrounding individual nations. X's stereotype for Y may be different from Z's. The stereotypes may have kernels of truth to them, but they are not wholly correct, and so are heavily misleading. In some cases, negative stereotypes have been spread by one country in order to discredit another. Sometimes countries may promote national stereotypes about themselves in order to instill a sense of patriotism, for examples in wars when an us-vs.-them mentality is often favoured.

An article on the validity of national stereotypes suggests that "the stereotypes we all know and love, like the "French lover" and "the icy Brit," were mostly created by literature". It explained that "partly because of such "dirty books," and partly due to French PR, France got the reputation of being sexually free", and offered evidence to the contrary with a recent survey that showed "76 percent of the French sometimes suffer from lack of sexual response".



According to an article by The Guardian entitled European stereotypes: what do we think of each other and are we right? - interactive, the Europe stereotype towards Britain is as "drunken, semi-clad hooligans or else snobbish, stiff free marketers", their view towards France is "cowardly, arrogant, chauvinistic, erotomaniacs", and they see Germany as "uber-efficient, diligent [and] disciplined". To Europe, Italy is "tax-dodging, Berlusconi-style and mama's boys, incapable of bravery", Poland is "heavy-drinking ultracatholics with a whiff of antisemitism", and Spain is "macho men and fiery woman prone to regular siestas and fiestas". While some countries such as Germany proudly own their stereotype, others like Spain argue that theirs is a warped view based on experiences while on holiday instead of having actually lived there.

A Pew Global survey of the European countries Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Greece, Poland, and the Czech Republic found that European stereotypes found Germany to be both the most hardworking and least corrupt, Greece to be the least hardworking, and Italy to be the most corrupt. It is also worth noting that 5 out of the 8 countries thought their own country was the most corrupt.

Pictural representations

Yanko Tsvetkov has designed many maps which serve as pictorial representations of such stereotypes, giving an impression of how certain regions of the world may view others. They have named such as "The Arab Winter" and "Crystal Ball View Of Europe In 2022".

By region


Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "National stereotype" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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