Claude S. Fischer's America Calling: A Social History of the Telephone to 1940 PDF

By Claude S. Fischer

ISBN-10: 0520086473

ISBN-13: 9780520086470

The phone looms huge in our lives, as ever found in glossy societies as vehicles and tv. Claude Fischer offers the 1st social historical past of this very important yet little-studied technology--how we encountered, verified, and finally embraced it with enthusiasm. utilizing cell advertisements, oral histories, mobile correspondence, and statistical information, Fischer's paintings is a colourful exploration of the way, while, and why americans all started speaking during this noticeably new manner.Studying 3 California groups, Fischer uncovers how the phone turned built-in into the non-public worlds and neighborhood actions of typical americans within the first many years of this century. girls have been in particular avid of their use, a phenomenon which the first vigorously discouraged after which later wholeheartedly promoted. repeatedly Fischer unearths that the phone supported a wide-ranging community of social family and performed an important position in neighborhood lifestyles, in particular for ladies, from organizing kid's relationships and church actions to assuaging the loneliness and tedium of rural life.Deftly written and meticulously researched, the US Calling provides a major new bankruptcy to the social heritage of our state and illuminates a primary point of cultural modernism that's crucial to modern existence.

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Extra info for America Calling: A Social History of the Telephone to 1940

Sample text

Video games provide a cautionary tale. In the early 1980s many commentators projected the PacMan-ization of American youth. Yet the video craze collapsed almost as fast as it grew (and then it rebounded with Nintendo games, but perhaps only for a while). * Sigmund Freud made a similar point in Civilizations and Its Discontents: "Is there, then, no positive gain in pleasure, no unequivocal increase in my feeling of happiness, if I can, as often as I please, hear the voice of a child of mine who is living hundreds of miles away .

One could, for example, credit food canning, refrigeration, and sewage treatment with significantly extending Americans' lives and yet these technologies go almost unmentioned in general discussions of modernization. The automobile was (and is) much more noticeable and notorious than the telephone. In economic, political, and even mythic ways, the automobile was, by all appearances, more important. What is less evident, however, are the implications of the technologies in people's personal liveshow the use of the automobile and telephone altered, if it did, social action, community, and individual consciousness.

Equal rates of subscription probably suggest greater demand in outlying neighborhoods. Moreover, closer examination shows a consistent difference by location among households headed by white-collar workers. Those white-collar families living outside the town centers were usually more likely to have telephones, other household traits held constant, than those living in the center. 62 Â < previous page < previous page page_151 page_152 next page > next page > 45 46 Page 152 One explanation for a locational difference among only white-collar households combines perceived need and resources.

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America Calling: A Social History of the Telephone to 1940 by Claude S. Fischer


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