simple reading question (250 words)

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In “`Touch Someone’: The Telephone Industry Discovers Sociability,” Claude Fischer discusses the diffusion of telephones in the United States and examines changing assumptions about the “correct” use of this new technology — specifically, the use of telephones for social conversation.

In an excerpt from When Old Technologies Were New, Carolyn Marvin examines the telephone’s effect on social relationships and the development of telephone norms and “etiquette.”

In this response, please address the following questions:

1) According to Fischer, how did early telephone companies view “social” conversation on their lines? What uses of the telephone did early telephone companies promote? Who was the intended user of this technology when it was first introduced?

2) What “cultural explanation” does Fischer offer to explain early assumptions about the telephone’s purpose?

3) According Marvin, how did telephones challenge traditional physical and social boundaries? Give some examples.

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