Social and Technological History of Television

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Final Paper

Television: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Candice Chung

Seminar: Media Criticism I

E. 38. 2007



Part I: Technological and Social History of Television

"Television has altered our world."

Raymond Williams, The Technology and the Society.

Though, it appears as a banal statement, it is significant in that it is the only mutually agreed statement about television. Since, the invention of television there has been a plethora of social studies analyzing its existence in our society and they consist of a range of opinions, forecasts, critiques and praises. This is a practice to be encouraged because of its undeniable force in the realm of communication moreover, culture. "Here and now, in a society in which television is important, there is immediate and practical work to be done: surveys to be made...and research undertaken." It is an analysis that shall be continued by media scholars, sociologists, and other cultural generalists alike and then, ideally, studied by the mass.

Living in a society where technology reigns in the mode of communication, it is critical to read the arguments, examine the data then, affirm or refute the observations.

Sociologists Raymond Williams of The Technology and the Society, and Jay Bolster and Richard Grusin of Remediation have investigated the world changed since television and eluded to distinctive claims and conclusions. Considering their works, I will recall on the history of television as a technology, reevaluate its social history in terms of remediation and immediacy all in juxtaposition to film; and finally, its gratification and use to be concluded with an investigation of the origin of its cause and control of its effects. Many ideas have been offered as an explanation of how and why the television was invented how its use has evolved and the varying effects in public and private spheres.