Why Is Argentina So…

I came across this blog post yesterday which looks at stereotypes of each US State based on typing “Why is {State} so” into Google and seeing what comes up on the autocomplete. It’s fun little idea and I decided to undertake the same experiment for South America.

Argentina

First up, Argentina and the most popular question asked about the country, according to Google, is all to do with skin-colour. Second and fourth we have question relating to money, the latter one possibly explaining the former and number 3 is not surprisingly football (the answer is they didn’t qualify, but then neither did Holland, France or Germany).

If we change the question around a little and ask about the inhabitants rather than the country we hit a persistent stereotype straight away.

Interestingly when we run the same queries in Spanish we get slightly different results.

Searching for “Why are Argentinians so..” in Spanish shows a very superficial obsession with the top results being good-looking, ugly and blonde.

Uruguay

As for Uruguay, people are either questioning their national team’s high position in the FIFA ranking, or where does the name of the country come from.

Only one question pops up for the residents, and its one we see for every country except Brazil & Bolivia – why are the people white? It is clearly a common assumption that South America is still mostly populated by indigenous people and the number of “Europeans” obviously takes visitors by surprise.

Brazil

Moving to our larger neighbour in the North, let’s see what people have been asking Google about Brazil.

Maybe it’s good at football because it’s big and violent? As for the inhabitants we can see some familiar preconceptions cropping up, although numbers 2 and 4 surprise me a little as these are not questions I’ve ever asked myself.

Bolivia

I’m sorry Bolivia – there seems to be only one thing on the mind of Googlers when it comes to you.

Chile

And the burning questions everybody wants to ask about Chile, why is it so long and thin?

Although this seems to have an effect on its residents – long country, long face?

Colombia

Next up, Colombia. Sadly only one question actually appears and it is very predictable and unlike most stereotypes isn’t based entirely on current reality.

Whilst the country might be seen as dangerous, this image obviously doesn’t rub off on the inhabitants.

South America

And finally, searching for the entire continent sadly reveals something of how it is seen from the outside.

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1 Comment

  1. […] Why is Argentina So… – an experiment looking at the how the world sees South America through the Google autocomplete feature. […]