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Boer, Burgher, Businessman: Dutch-American Images in the United States

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Maren Dingfelder-Stone

The study is an imagological analysis of Dutch immigrants in the United States, giving insights into stereotyping, identity formation, and the marketing of ethnicity. Tracing Dutch-American literary images through four centuries of writing in America, the study emphasizes the continuity of Dutch-American history. The assessment of images in their socio-cultural context reveals the disparity between literary and socio-cultural perception, the latter of which often evokes Dutch ethnicity in the United States as a mere means to an end. While the study ascertains which images of Dutch Americans have dominated public perception, it also investigates the origins of such images, their persistence irrespective of time and location, and the reasons for their fluctuating interpretations.
Contents: Imagological study of Dutch Americans – Corpus of 81 authors, 1600-2001 – Dutch in the U.S. studied in literary and non-literary contexts – Socio-cultural realm includes Dutch-American organizations, politics, academics, festive culture – Highlights re-interpretation of images according to fluctuating literary conventions and power dynamics.