The Yin and Yang of U.S. Image: Using Focus Groups to Understand Anti-U.S. Attitudes in Italy

Janice Bell


Quantitative surveys conducted over the past decades have shown that west Europeans, and Italians in particular, tend to hold generally favorable attitudes toward the United States. Even casual observation of the domestic media, however, reveals equally consistent critical attitudes toward the U.S. Especially now that public debate over the future of the transatlantic alliance has become more pronounced, it has become necessary to look under the surface and investigate Europeans' attitudes toward the U.S. This paper presents one piece of a larger project: in April 2002, focus groups were conducted among Italian adults selected for their negative opinions of the U.S. This paper discusses the design of these focus groups, how they were carried out, and some key findings. It argues for the usefulness of this less-common use of focus groups, to give depth and perspective to long-established quantitative trends.
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0402249


focus groups; Italy; U.S. Image

Full Text:


Copyright (c) 2004 Janice Bell

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.