Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Communication and Information

Major Professor

Candace L. White

Committee Members

Stuart N. Brotman, Courtney C. Childers


The purpose of this thesis was to better understand current perceptions of selected Latin American countries, Colombia, the Dominican Republic and Mexico, held by young people in the Unites States. Through a survey of U. S. college students in the southeastern region of the United States and social listening with Salesforce Marketing Social Studio, this thesis used current models of measurement of the country image construct (Buhmann & Ingenhoff, 2015; Ingenhoff et al., 2018) to understand the current country images of countries in Latin America. This study found that aesthetic and functional dimensions more strongly affect overall country image. This study also found traditional mass media continue to inform country images of Colombia, the Dominican Republic and Mexico, and first hand experiences (i.e. travel to or knowing people from these countries) result in more positive country images overall. An important contribution of this thesis was affirming that social media listening and analysis alone is limited in its ability to understand and measure country image, and making recommendations for future public diplomacy efforts and research.

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