Popular Culture and Populist Technology Questions

In “Popular Culture and Populist Technology: The Amateur Operators, 1906-1912,”Preview the document media historian Susan Douglas examines the development of radio, focusing on the role of young male hobbyists and conflicts of authority that arose as this technology became popular in the United States.

In an excerpt from The Psychology of RadioPreview the document, Hadley Cantril and Gordon Allport examine the unique properties of radio communication and consider its social effects. This book, published in 1935, was an early scholarly attempt to study the effects of a “new” medium in the 1920s and 1930s.

In this response, please address the following questions:

1) According to Douglas, how did boys and young men contribute to the development of radio? How did they demonstrate their skills? Give an example of heroism.

2) What trouble did young male radio operators cause? What was their relationship with the U.S. Navy?

3) How does listening to a radio broadcast differ from listening to a live speaker in person (the “rostrum”), according to Cantril and Allport? How do these observations apply to modern online communication?

One page, duoble space.