Connections: Social and Cultural Studies of the Telephone in American Life / Edition 1

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Edison, New Jersey, U.S.A. 1999 Hard Cover New in Very Good jacket 6 x 9. This is a new book which has some minor shelf/edgewear on the dust jacket. Examines how the telephone ... reveals gender relations in a way not predicted by feminist theories, how it can be used to protect and invade personal privacy, how people harness telephone answering machines to their advantage, etc. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Perhaps no other technology has done so much to so many, but been studied by so few, as the telephone. Connections presents a series of studies, which give greater visibility to this important element in modern life. Katz examines how the telephone reveals gender relations in a way not predicted by feminist theories, how it can be used to protect and invade personal privacy, and how people harness telephone answering machines to their advantage. Katz's inquiry reports on obscene phone calls, the abuses of caller-ID technology, and attitudes toward voice mail.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Critical examinations of selected questions regarding the role of the telephone in the social life of American society. Some of the issues visited in the 11 papers include: that wireless communication allows organizations to control mobile employees; the debate over privacy and caller identification technologies; the social implications of obscene phone calls; and how the expansion of the telecommunications industry has affected consumer spending habits among different economic groups. Many of the articles have already appeared in similar form in unnamed scholarly journals. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From the Publisher

“Outstanding Title! Katz (Rutgers Univ.) brings historical analogies and statistical models to bear on a particularly underresearched medium of communication... Katz's extensive research and analysis probes the impact of this old/new technology on individual, family, and corporate life. In section 2 Katz looks at related problems and controversies--namely, invasion of privacy, obscene phone calls, and gender relationships. Section 3 probes consumer attitudes toward telephone companies and the consumer's willingness to spend money on additional telephone technologies such as caller ID, voice-activated dialing, call waiting, etc. Katz's landmark study brings qualitative and quantitative data to bear on a communication medium that undoubtedly affects more people and more interpersonal and social outcomes than any other current medium but has been the least studied of all 20th-century media… [F]or graduate students and above.”

—R. Cathcart, Choice

"A fine assembly of research-based observations on the complex place of the telephone in American society. James Katz's mastery of his subject shines through every chapter."

—Robert K. Merton, University Professor Emeritus, Columbia University

"Caller ID, cellular phones, pagers, answering machines--all reveal remarkable, often surprising sides of American behavior, analyzed expertly in Connections. James Katz shows that social science can be rigorous, relevant, and readable. A must for professionals, and a treat for those at the receiving end of our communicopia."

—Edward Tenner, Department of Geosciences, Princeton University, author of Why Things Bite Back

"While many speculate about how people are adjusting to a new environment of cell phones and instant messaging, few, if any, are studying the process as closely as James Katz. In this book, Katz brings together his careful research and illuminates the ways that Americans are confronting the opportunities and dangers of a wired world."

—Claude Fischer, professor of sociology, University of California, Berkeley

"Connections provides a sophisticated analysis of a complex but vitally important subject: the social nature of modern communication technology. Katz makes careful use of quantitative and qualitative data to present a well-grounded view of what people think about the new technologies, how they use them, and why. Intelligent social policies start with books like this."

—Vincent Mosco, School of Journalism and Communication, Carleton University, Ottawa

"These studies blend astute observation and quantitative data with an infectious enthusiasm for research. The telephone is ubiquitious and telephone-related topics—rather than being a narrow focus—illuminate a wide range of American life. This pioneering work begins to use the changing background of new communication technology as a remarkable research opportunity to discern what is enduring about human nature, culture, and institutions."

—Lloyd Etheredge, director, International Scientific Networks Project, Policy Sciences Center, Yale University Law School

"The telephone is usually answered but rarely questioned. Not so with this engaging and balanced inquiry in which James Katz both asks and answers questions. If not telling everything you always wanted to know about the personal, organizational and cultural aspects of the telephone, he at least tells you what you ought to know, buttressing his empirical anchors with thoughtful speculation. Essential reading for anyone concerned with the social implications of electronic communication."

—Gary T. Marx, professor emeritus, MIT; chair. Sociology Department, University of Colorado, Boulder

"James Katz has brought together an impressive collection of his own theoretically informed empirical studies of the place of the telephone in our lives. Although he is respectful of the critics, he provides a well organized and carefully considered rebuttal of most of their technophobic musings about the impact of telecommunications on American society. In addition, several of his investigations into the social demography of telecommunications use and abuse, inform important theoretical issues about the ways in which race, class and gender interact within a network of power relations. Katz's writing is accessible to the intelligent reader."

—Oscar Gandy, Jr., Herbert I. Schiller Information and Society Term Chair, The Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781560003946
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/17/1999
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 364
  • Product dimensions: 6.34 (w) x 9.24 (h) x 1.28 (d)

Meet the Author

James E. Katzis professor and chair of the Department of Communication at Rutgers University where he also directs the Center for Mobile Communication Studies. In 2009, he was the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Twentieth Century Communications History (Italy). Prior to coming to Rutgers, Katz headed a social science research unit at Bell Communications Research. He has two patents in the telecommunications field and has held fellowships at Harvard and MIT. He is the author of Magic in the Air: Mobile Communication and the Transformation of Social Life and Connections: Social and Cultural Studies of the Telephone in American Life, published by Transaction.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
Pt. I Social Change and Quality of Life
1 Social and Organizational Consequences of Wireless Communication 7
2 Mobile Communications: Theories, Data, and Potential Impact 41
3 Attitudes toward Voice Mail and Telephone Answering Machines 75
4 Corporate Culture Transformation in the Telephone Companies 113
Pt. II Interpersonal Relations in a Social Context
5 Caller-ID, Privacy, and Social Processes 147
6 Understanding Communication Privacy: Unlisted Telephone Subscribers 209
7 Obscene Telephone Calls to Women: Empirical and Theoretical Dimensions 231
8 Gender Relations and Telephone Calls: A Survey of Obscene Telephone Calls to Males and Females 259
Pt. III Social Dimensions of Telephone Service Perceptions
9 Consumer Spending Behavior 281
10 Slamming Back: Customer Choice and Retention in Local Telephone Markets 317
Pt. IV Concluding Thoughts
11 Industrial Engineering versus Individual Ingenuity 329
Index 357
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