Science of Coercion

Science of Coercion

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 - Chritopher Simpson -

Communication Research & Psychological Warfare

1945 - 1960

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Book Details
 193 p
 File Size 
 10,603 KB
 File Type
 PDF format

Communication research is a small but intriguing field in the social
sciences. This relatively new specialty crystallized into a distinct discipline
within sociology—complete with colleges, curricula, the authority
to grant doctorates, and so forth—between about 1950 and 1955.
Today it underlies most college- and graduate-level training for print
and broadcast journalists, public relations and advertising personnel,
and the related craftspeople who might be called the "ideological workers"
of contemporary U.S. society.1
Government psychological warfare programs helped shape mass communication
research into a distinct scholarly field, strongly influencing
the choice of leaders and determining which of the competing scientific
paradigms of communication would be funded, elaborated, and encouraged
to prosper. The state usually did not directly determine what
scientists could or could not say, but it did significantly influence the
selection of who would do the "authoritative" talking in the field.
This book takes up three tasks. First, it outlines the history of U.S.
psychological warfare between 1945 and 1960, discussing the basic
theories, activities, and administrative structure of this type of communication
enterprise. Second, it looks at the contributions made by
prominent mass communication researchers and institutions to that enterprise.
Third, it examines the impact of psychological warfare programs
on widely held preconceptions about communication and science
within the field of communication research itself.
Since World War II, the U.S. government's national security campaigns
have usually overlapped with the commercial ambitions of major

Table of Contents

1. Defining Psychological War, 3
2. World War and Early Modern Communication Research, 75
3. "The Social Scientists Make a Huge Contribution," 31
4. Academic Advocates, 42
5. Outposts of the Government, 52
6. "Barrack and Trench Mates," 63
7. Internationalization and Enforcement of the Paradigm
of Domination, 94
8. The Legacy of Psychological Warfare, 707
Appendix: Dr. Stuart Dodd's List of
"Revere-Connected Papers" (1958), 118

Bibliographic Essay, 123
Notes, 133
Index, 795