Lengthy Carl Couch Video Interviews Discovered


Two video files containing nearly three hours of an extensive 1992 interview with Dr. Carl Couch have recently been rediscovered and made available online. Thanks to Professor Dawn T. Robinson, Department of Sociology at the University of Georgia, who discovered the videos on an old CD, the files have been converted to a usable format.

Dr. Shing-Ling Sarina Chen, student and long-time collaborator with Dr. Couch (and Program Director of the Couch Center) recently viewed the videos. She remarked, "It is an outstanding video to get a comprehensive understanding of Carl Couch's views on science and sociology, as well as the evolution of his career leading up to becoming a leader of the New Iowa School."

The interview was originally recorded on VHS tape. At some unknown later date the video was digitized in a now-obsolete format. The files were recently converted to .mp4 in order to be usable on the worldwide web. Because of the limits of the original technology and the multiple conversions, the video quality is not excellent. However the audio is very clear and understandable. The segments run about 90 minutes each.

The first part of the interview consists of Carl discussing his early life and what led him to the study of sociology, the nature of his sociological training, his intellectual philosophy, and the beginnings of his methodology. He also discusses the definitions of symbolic interactionism and the distinctiveness of the theory and methods of social science.

The second portion of the interview continues with a critique of research without adequate theoretical foundations, a defense of the New Iowa School against critics, caution against common misunderstandings of his research methods, definition of generic principles in theory, and the imperative of studying social interaction.

The Couch Center is delighted to make these archives of Carl's freewheeling conversation publically available. Those with questions or comments about these videos are invited to contact Professor Chen at the University of Northern Iowa.

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