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

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Perhaps no other technology has done so much to so many, but been studied by so few, as the telephone. Even as its physical size diminishes, the telephone is becoming more important. In Connections, now available in paperback, James E. Katz gives 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. National data about cellular telephones are presented to show the extent to which beepers and car phones have become status symbols.

Katz ranges from microsocial interaction to macrosocial theory, and from the family and personal levels of organization to that of large-scale industrial bureaucracies. The result of this investigation is a compelling mosaic spanning sociology and psychology, and organization and communication studies. These arresting portraits will offer profound insight to historians, students of American culture, and those concerned about the nature and direction of the emerging information society.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 376 pages
  • 153.9 x 226.6 x 24.9mm | 603.29g
  • Transaction Publishers
  • Somerset, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • 0765809958
  • 9780765809957

Review quote

"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
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About James E. Katz

James E. Katz is professor of communication at the School of Communication, Information, and Library Studies at Rutgers University. The results of his research have been published in more than thirty journals, including Telecommunications Policy, Human Communications Research, Information Age, and Technology in Society.
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