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전화의 사회문화적 영향에 관한 연구
Socio-Cultural Impact of the Telephone

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  • 초록

    Among the innumerable information technologies that have come into use, few could claim the place of telephone regarding the amount of changes brought to our daily life. As the most technologically advanced and at the same time the most personalized medium, tele?hone has revolutionized human communication in terms of range and efficiency. By overcoming the time and space barriers, telephone enables humans to establish contacts across various sectors of society and expand the horizon of social interactions. Despite the ubiquity of telephone, the medium has received far less scholarly attention than it should deserve. The common perception that telephone is a daily commodity might have contributed to over?ooking the medium"s strong potential for a social communication channel. Moreover, as the most popular usage of telephone is for point-to-point localized communication, telephone has never enjoyed a status of a "public" medium. As such, the current study purports to enlarge telephone prior to many other media that information society has introduced. A closer examination of telephone will help delineate the socio-cultural implications of the medium. The results showed that telephone is manifesting its potential as a public medium, not simply confining to the interpersonal commu?icative functions. As the penetration rate in Korea reaches two per household. telephone"s usage has been converted increasingly from the traditional communicative roles to the transactional roles. A1S0, as people become more dependent upon telephone. they are reaching more strangers than acquaintances through the medium. Younger generations tend to hare a more positive attitude toward telephone. They rely more on telephone regardless of the type of tasks and the nature of relationships with the other side of the line. Such was particularly the case with mobile telephone, which seems at the moment only supplementary to "wired" telephone. Thus, it is plau?ible to predict that the relative position of "wired" and mobile tele?hones will be gradually reversed as the younger generations become the mainstream of our society. People hare different perceptions on the characteristics of wired telephone, mobile telephone. and face-to-face contact. As predicted, in terms of social presence, face-to-face contact was rated the high?st, followed by wired telephone and mobile telephone. respectively. People also seemed to have an ability to link a particular medium with the unique needs of various communication situations. Among close friends, telephone was preferred to face-to-face contact. Making phone calls to superiors was also acceptable as far as the physical constraints are fully recognized. For simple notice purpose, telephone was predominantly used. However, even for request purpose, where the interactivity holds the key to the outcome, telephone was used as frequently as face-to-face contact. A substantial portion of the tasks traditionally performed ex?lusively by face-to-face contacts seems to give way to telephone. All these indicate that people begin to emphasize the efficiency more than the formality when choosing appropriate medium. Above discussion, however, does not apply to mobile telephone. Mobile telephone, despite the rapid penetration rate in Korea, appears to be recognized still as a "new" medium. As such, the process through which old and new media are structurally and functionally reshuffled deserves further attention. To understand telephone as a medium central to social communication infrastructures, a more comprehensive discussion of the web of media is in order.


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