televangelism 4971

reevaluate the social relationships mediated by
telephones, where those devices have become
As was the case with the fixed line telephone,
the presence and use of telephones on the
move has affected how the public and the
private are negotiated in everyday life. Because
mobile phones are significantly personal devices,
they come to symbolize (through voice messa
ging, address books, and text messages) the
social networks of which the individual is a part.
At the same time, they are public by virtue of
their use in shared spaces, whether those shared
spaces are in the home or family relationship, or
in collective spaces such as public transport. On
the one hand, therefore, mobile phones can
establish and maintain the private and personal
as in the case, for example, where young people
can bypass parental gatekeeping of the fixed
line household phone to engage with their
peers. On the other hand, mobile phones can
both mediate and disrupt the public when, for
example, peers gift one another with text
messages and images that can then be displayed
to co present others to demonstrate participa
tion in a telepresent social network, or when
phones are used for voice calls in public space
disrupting conventional behavioral norms.
Similarly, gender is implicated in emerging
norms of use, for example in the ways mobiles
are used by women to manage their multiple
responsibilities with respect to work, household,
and extended family.
As was also the case with the fixed line tele
phone, the interactional norms governing use
and behavior with respect to the mobile phone
must be negotiated over time. The conversa
tional norms with both co present and telepre
sent others are being rewritten as mobile phones
become a more ubiquitous feature of everyday
life. The etiquette of mobile phone use has
been the subject of significant public debate,
and continues to be so with the introduction of
further features such as cameras that can readily
be used across a range of social situations.
Sociologists have begun to conduct ethnogra
phies of a range of places and spaces to investi
gate these emerging norms, and to uncover the
ways in which the mobile phone intervenes in
social and communicative practices across a
number of nations and cultures. They are inves
tigating the historical significance of the mobile
with respect to the technological landscapes
and social networks of which they are a part, and
considering the organization, hierarchies, and
power relations embedded in their produc
tion and consumption. As mobile and fixed line
phones continue to converge with technolo
gies such as the Internet, sociology now recog
nizes that in contemporary societies telephony
has a central role in the technology and
media landscape, and have adjusted their focus
SEE ALSO: Conversation Analysis; Historical
and Comparative Methods; Information Tech
nology; Interaction; Technological Determin
ism; Technological Innovation; Urbanization


Brown, B., Green, N., & Harper, R. (Eds.) (2001)
Wireless World: Social and Interactional Aspects of
the Mobile Age. Springer, London.
Fischer, C. (1994) America Calling: A Social History
of the Telephone to 1940. University of California
Press, Berkeley.
Katz, J. & Aakhus, M. (2002) Perpetual Contact:
Mobile Communication, Private Talk, Public Perfor
mance. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Marvin, C. (1988) When Old Technologies Were New:
Thinking About Electric Communication in the Late
Nineteenth Century. Oxford University Press, New
Poole, I. de S. (Ed.) (1977) The Social Impact of the
Telephone. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.


William H. Swatos, Jr.

Initially an American phenomenon, televange
lism refers to the use of television for Christian
missionary outreach, of an evangelical funda
mentalist type, usually incarnated in a single
leadership figure, which became particularly
prominent in the 1970s as a result of shifts in
broadcasting policies regulated by the United
States Federal Communications Commission
(FCC) in 1960. Prior to that time, the FCC