The manuscript was nearly complete in draft at the time of Couch's death. He has left a bold, synthetic statement, reclaiming the common ground of sociology and communication studies and articulating the indispensability of each for the other. With admirable scope, across historical epochs and cultures, he shows in detail the transformative power of information technologies. While the author hopes that a humane vision comes with each technological advance, he nonetheless describes the numerous instances of mass brutality and oppression that have resulted from the oligarchic control of those technologies. Couch's theory and substantive analysis speak directly to the interests of historians, sociologists, and communication scholars.
About the Author
Shing- Ling Chen is assistant professor of mass communication at the University of Northern Iowa.
Carl J. Couch (1925–1994) was professor of sociology at the University of Iowa and president and co-founder of the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction. He created the New Iowa School of Symbolic Interaction.
David R. Maines is professor and chair of sociology and anthropology at Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan, where he teaches courses on urban sociology and social stratification. He was one of the founding members of the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction, and in 1999 received the SSSI George Herbert Mead Award for lifetime contributions to scholarship.