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Mobile Communications and Governing the Mobile: CBs and Truckers

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Struggles over CB radio use in the 1970s provide a unique historical precedent for conceptualizing current mobile communication technologies. Battles between truckers and the police were popularized in several movies, television shows, and the most memorably hit songs of the period. This essay approaches these texts as a popular how-to manual for the use of CB and compares them with the more utopian visions of CB use being spread by CB guidebooks and government officials from local police forces to the FCC. These two types of DB use came into direct conflict during the Wildcat Truckers Blockades of 1973 and 1974 that was organized via CB which spawned the popular culture representations of the truckers as American hero. This political protest made unique use of the mobile quality of CB and allowed for the unification of otherwise disparate loners which could provide a model for quick acting group resistance
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: College of Communications, Pennsylvania State University

Publication date: 2002-01-01

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