Technology: Blessing or curse and the social divide caused by technology

Essay by silkyraw10University, Bachelor'sA+, May 2005

download word file, 7 pages 5.0

The advent of electricity (technology) not only affected families internally, but it also affected social conditions, on-going economic change, new political trends, and cultural shifts over time. There was a revolution driven by technological, political, and economic services that changed the structures and practices that make up society. The development of electricity and new communication technologies transformed the way society socialized and communicated with one another.

The American era of modernization and the commercial era the followed produced a strong division between economic classes, ethnic groups and other racial divisions in America; such as those expressed in its economic, social and political events. In the 19th century the ruling classes were omnipotent while the working class was numerous and very poor. The social divide was extremely clear. Those in the position of power wanted to keep the power and new technologies amongst them selves. Marvin states, "Asymmetrics of dress, manner, and class that identified outsiders and were immediately obvious in face-to-face exchange were disturbingly invisible by telephone and telegraph, and therefore problematic and dangerous" (86).

The elite of 19th Century wanted to keep the telephone to them selves because God forbid the common person get a hold of it, which would surely upset the hierarchy in class and status. Around the 1880's, the telephone was still a new idea and was regarded as a technology for the elites. But then the lower class also wanted usage of the technology and so the telephone became self-governing. There were social conflicts due to this because it was said that telephone was only needed by important people for example, doctors and businessmen. But in 1920s and 1930s, telephone evolved from being an object for the elite to being an object for everyone. Today the telephone has become more than a extravagance or a...