The fifties


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The fifties

  2. 2. The Golden Age What were the characteristics of the affluent age? 1. Changed Economy 2. A Suburban nation 3. A consumer culture 4. The TV world A New Ford Women at Work Segregated Landscape
  3. 3. Economic Boom Robust post war economy fueled by a society eager to spend after years of depression and war. Factories re-tooled from machinery of war to consumer goods!
  4. 4. The Organization and the Organization Man During the 1950’s businesses expanded rapidly More people hold “white- collar” jobs The fields of sales, advertising, insurance, and communication exploded
  5. 5. A Suburban Nation Causes  Good Economy  Returning Veterans  Baby Boom  Shortage of housing in cities  Highway Act  Automobiles
  6. 6. Baby Boom During the late 1940s and through the early 1960s the birthrate in the U.S. soared Why did the baby boom happen?  Husbands returning from war  Decreasing marriage age  Confidence in economy  Advances in medicine  Baby boomers represent the largest generation on the nation’s history
  7. 7. Highway Construction Interstate Highway and Defense Act, 1956 Purpose? Unintended Consequence? Why would this bill promote suburbanization? Federal funds helped cities pay for the highways needed for suburbanization
  8. 8. Levittown Houses cheap and plentiful  FHA and VA subsidies  The dream of home ownership came within the reach of the majority of Americans  jzn_To
  9. 9. A Consumer Culture Freedom interpreted as buying?
  10. 10.  Consumer Goods  TV, Cars, Stereos, Dishwashers  National Fads  Rise in Consumer Credit up 800% (1945-57)
  11. 11.  We will continue the 1950s notes tomorrow. Homework – Create a visual summary for today’s notes. Write the main idea for 5 of the following subheading and illustrate each one.  The Golden Age  Economic Boom  The Organization and the Organization Man  A Suburban Nation  Baby Boom  Highway Construction  Levittown  Consumer Culture
  12. 12. The TV World TV replaces newspaper as the most common source of information Provided Americans with a common cultural experience TV avoided controversy and projected bland image of middle-class life Effective advertising medium WBI&list=FL_FeRENpHqj0K6lq4EsISow&index =1&feature=plpp_video
  13. 13.  The average family watched 4 to 5 hours of TV a day
  14. 14. A New Car Culture Along with a home and TV, the car became part of what sociologists called “the standard consumer package” of the 1950s WWMM
  15. 15.  Main form of urban transportation Allowed the suburbs to expand In the 1950s car manufacturers began making yearly changes to car designs
  16. 16. Female Sphere Did Women lose or gain during this period? After 1945, women lost many of the jobs they had performed during the war By the mid-1950s women were working again, but the nature and aims had changed Women were expected to get married, have children, and stay at home
  17. 17. Women at Home Popular culture glorified marriage, family, a nd parenthood (Leave it to Beaver, Father Knows Best) Educational programs promoted domestic sciences
  18. 18. Leisure in the 1950s Shorter work weeks and longer vacations Labor-saving devices added more spare time
  19. 19. TV Ads, TV Guides and TVDinners TV ads increase from $170 million in 1950 to nearly $ 2 billion in 1960 TV Guide TV Dinners
  20. 20. Leisure Activities In 1953 alone $30 billion is spent on leisure Popular activities include bowling, hunting, golf Americans attended or watched sports Drive-ins
  21. 21. Fear in the 1950s Internal Domestic Prosperity VS External Fear of Communism
  22. 22. Fear of the Bomb
  23. 23. Fear of Polio
  24. 24. Fear of Teenage Culture The term teenager was not really used until after WWII Cultural Split between parent/teens – different dress/ hair
  25. 25. Teenage Culture The term teenager was not really used until after WWII Cultural Split between parent/teens – different dress/ hair
  26. 26. Teens: Boring Suburbs Teens rejected the suburbs/ nothing ever happened Many teens felt misunderstood The ideal of being a rebel increases juvenile crime
  27. 27. Teens: Rock and Roll Birth of Rock and Roll Grown out of rhythm and blues tradition Lyrics more explicit Teens love it, parents hate it Rock influenced race relations/ integrated concerts 28A9&index=2&feature=plpp_video
  28. 28. Elvis Elvis brought rock and roll to white middle class America A huge hit with young female fans Became a symbol of rebellious youth h?v=3PdVqWuqUsI&list=FL_Fe RENpHqj0K6lq4EsISow&index =4&feature=plpp_video
  29. 29. Rebels without a Cause Generational tensions lay beneath the bland surface of the 1950s life
  30. 30. The Beats The Beats were a small group of poets and writers who went against mainstream culture Rejected  Work ethic  The “desperate materialism” of the suburbs  The militarization of US life by the cold war  Celebrated impulsive action, immediate pleasure
  31. 31. The Beatniks Emergence of literature and film dealing with alienation Against conformity  Jack Kerouac  J.D. Salinger  Allen Ginsberg