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Dynamics of Modern Communication

Dynamics of Modern Communication
The Shaping and Impact of New Communication Technologies

October 1995 | 192 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Patrice Flichy offers a profound analysis of the social shaping and impact of the major communication technologies of the last 200 years.

From the semaphore and telegraph to contemporary information technologies, Dynamics of Modern Communication focuses on the relationship between technological and social change. Particular emphasis is put on four processes: the birth of the modern state at the end of the eighteenth century; the development of stock markets; the transformation of private life in the modern nuclear family; and the individualism of the late twentieth century.

Exploring the interaction of technology and social context - for example, in the move from public methods of communication to more private and individualized forms - Flichy exposes the gap between the original conception of a technology and its end use after the interplay of political, economic and consumer forces.

State-Controlled Communication
The Semaphore Telegraph

Networks and Electricity
Market-Controlled Communication
The Electric Telegraph

Collection and Souvenir
Photography and the Gramophone

From Trading in Goods to Trading in Souls
The Telephone

The Wireless Age
Radio Broadcasting

Telephone Engineers' Technical Options
The Triumph of Electronics
Television and Computers

Private Communication
Final Reflections

`Focusing on the relationship between technological and social change, this study offers a comprehensive social history of communication technologies from 1790 to the present' - International Review of Social History

`A scholarly, analytical assessment which makes substantial contributions to our theoretical understanding of new communication technologies.... The editors of the Media, Culture & Society series of SAGE have done us a great service by arranging for the translation and re-publication of the volume.... The "shelf life" and scholarly value of Dynamics will, without doubt, far surpass that of more fashionable publications' - Communicatiewetenschap

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