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


  • Janice Bell Ipsos-Public Affair



focus groups, Italy, U.S. Image


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


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Author Biography

Janice Bell, Ipsos-Public Affair

Janice BELL is Director at Ipsos-Public Affairs in Washington, DC. Until recently, she was an analyst in the Europe Branch of the Office of Research at the U.S. Department of State, and has taught at the Universities of Sussex and London in the UK. Her publications include The Political Economy of Poland's Post-Communist Transition (2001, Edward Elgar Publishers) and, co-authored with Tomasz MICKIEWICZ, Transitional Unemployment or Transition To Unemployment? Labour Markets in Central and Eastern Europe (2000, Harwood Academic Publishers).




How to Cite

Bell, J. (2004). The Yin and Yang of U.S. Image: Using Focus Groups to Understand Anti-U.S. Attitudes in Italy. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 5(2).