Wed, 01 Nov 1995 21:15:36 -0600 (CST)

In response to the last part of Marlowe's post -- he may not have been the
first to express this, but Robert Merton discussed obliteration by
incorporation (OBI). IN fact, the last time he addressed the American
Sociological Association (1966, I believe, but I've lost the paper) he seemed
bemused that the "focussed interview" he and Lasersfeld developed had been
adopted by marketing types -- only to be rediscovered by sociologists intrigued
by the idea of using "focus group" research. Merton found himself, therefore,
to be a victim (so to speak) of OBI. I'm not sure if this is what's happening
with PCP of if it's the case (as someone has suggested here) that what GAK had
to say about the process of human be-ing is just so coherent that others are
bound to come up with similar conclusions sooner or later.

Suzanne Huffman