When we share or receive good or bad news, from ordinary events such as the birth of a child to public catastrophes such as 9/11, our "old" lives come to an end, and suddenly we see the world with new eyes. In "Bad News, Good News", Douglas W. Maynard explores how we tell and hear such news, and what's similar and different about the ways we experience good and bad news itself. Uncovering the verbal and nonverbal patterns in the bearing of news on everyday conversations as well as in hospitals and other settings, Maynard shows how people give and receive good or bad news, how they come to "realize" the news and their new world, and how they construct social relationships through the sharing of news. He also reveals the implications of his study for understanding public affairs in which the conveyance of news may influence society at large, and he provides recommendations for professionals and others on how to convey bad or good news more effectively. For anyone who wants to understand how news gets communicated, "Bad News, Good News" offers a wealth of scholarly insights and practical advice.
Douglas W. Maynard is a professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is the author of "Inside Plea Bargaining: The Language of Negotiation" and coeditor of "Standardization and Tacit Knowledge: Interaction and Practice in the Survey Interview."