Chapter 20:2--The Mood if the 1950s
the youth of the 1950s was known as the..
Teenagers stayed in school
-in the 1950s, teens became expected to stay in school instead of working to support their families
-this gave them more leisure time which they used to organize parties and pranks, join fraternities and sororities, and generally pursue entertainment and fun
-in the suburbs, families were less able to turn to members of their extended family for help with child care
-turned to teenage girls
business seized opportunity to sell to youth
-represented clean-cut teens in tv shows and in magazines which targeted youth and offered plenty of advice to teens on how to dress, to behaves, and to date
teen girls collected items such as silver and linens
-in anticipation of marriage which often came right after high school
-the number of teen brides rose sharply in the 1950s
Why were comfort and security so important to Americans in the 1950s?
Comfort and security was so important because Americans were recovering from the years of depression and war
-The quality or character of a person or thing that distinguishes them from others of the same kind, discouraged during the 1950s
-Compliance with standards, rules, or laws and Behavior in accordance with socially accepted conventions or standards
Resurgence in Religion
- in the 1950s Americans who had drifted away from religion in previous years flocked back to their churches and synagogues as a response to the Cold War struggle against “godless communism”
-some looked to religion to find hope in the face of the threat of nuclear war
-Congress added words "under God" to the pledge of allegiance and nest year required words "in God we trust" to appear on all American currency
-those in need could call Dial-a-prayer
-evangelists used radio and tv to carry messages to people
roles that women and men were supposed to play
-women were expected to play a supporting role in their husbands' lives by keeping house, cooking meals, and raising children
-men were expected to go to school and then find jobs to support wives and children
"The common sense book of baby and child care" (1946)
-by Dr. Benjamin Spock and had a major impact on child rearing practices
-most middle-class women settled in the domestic role and took on the demands of raising children and maintaining their suburban homes
-marries at 16, has four children, keeps busy with the PTA, Campfire Girls, and charity causes
-serves as "home manager, mother, hostess, and useful civil worker"
-typical of many middle-class suburban women
women wanted to challenge conformity and _______
-stay in jobs they had during WWII
-they worked to make ends meet or just wanted to keep working
-satisfaction of making their own money, wanted to be able to buy items that were part of the "good life" ex: cars and electric appliances
married women working
-norm was for them to leave their jobs once married, but the percentage of married women grew and came to outnumber working unmarried women
what jobs did most working women hold
-they worked as secretaries, teachers, nurses, and sales clerks
"The Feminine Mystique"
-published in 1963 by Betty Friedan
-critique of 1950s ideal of womanhood, lashed out at culture that made it difficult for women to choose alternative roles
-they rejected their parent's values and felt misunderstood and alone
films like "Rebel Without a Cause" _________
-captured teen's feelings of alienation
"The Catcher in the Rye"
-by J.J Salinger in 1951
-main character Holden Caulfield is troubled by "phonies" he sees at boarding school and in the world around him, he struggles to preserve his own integrity despite the fierce pressure to conform--many readers could relate to this epxerience
-disc jockey who held a radio show in Cleveland, Ohio--"Moondog Rock 'n' Roll Party"--playing what was called black rhythm-and-blues music for a largely black audience
-the music did not have a wide audience but Freed's style quickly drew a broad audience of teenage listeners both black and white
-the program gave an important exposure to rock-and-roll
music which grew out of rhythm-and-blues, it had a driving beat and simple melodies
name some famous rock-n-roll performers in the 1950s
African American stars such as Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and Fats Domino, and white musicians such as Bill Haley and the Comets, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Buddy Holly
-one of the best-known rock-and-roll singers
-his performances showcased his flamboyant style and good looks, attracted hordes of screaming teenage girls everywhere he went
-hit records include "Don't Be Cruel," "Hound Dog," and "Heartbreak Hotel"
rock-n-roll spreads abroad
-it spread to Europe and Asia, becoming popular with listeners and influencing musicians
-early Beatles songs were inspired by the American rock-n-roll
why did many adults dislike the new music
-feared it would cause a rise in immortality
-for some, opposition had to do with race: the music was inspired by black rhythm-and-blue origins, it appealed to both black and white teenagers and those who liked segregation were uncomfortable with black and white teenagers attending the same concerts and listening to the same music
how did adults try to discourage rock-n-roll and did it work
-there were some efforts to ban rock concerts and keep records out of stores, but rock-n-roll's popularity continued to soar
-They are members of the rock-n-roll “Beat Generation,” beatniks. Some are writers, some artists, some simply participants in the movement, they promote spontaneity, stress spirituality and the need to release from the world of money and property, they challenge traditional patterns of responsibility, and shock other Americans with their more open sexuality and their use of illegal drugs.
Author Jack Kerouac
-many considered him to be the leader of the beat generation, he gathered with others in coffee houses in San Francisco, California to share ideas and experiences
-his best-selling novel "On the Road" was a reflection of his free-flowing, spontaneous writing method, the book's "wild form: was meant to reflect an open approach to life
Poet Allen Ginsberg
-he used the unstructured and chaotic style of the Beat Movement to write his influential epic poem "Howl"
7) Why were comfort and security so important to Americans in the 1950s?
Comfort and security was so important because Americans were recovering from the years of depression and war.
8) What were the accepted roles of men and women during the 1950s?
Women were expected to play a supporting role in their husbands' lives by keeping house, cooking meals, and raising children and men were expected to go to school and then find jobs to support wives and children.
9) How did some people challenge conformity during the 1950s?
The number of married women who continued to work after being married (against the norm) grew tremendously—some working to make ends meet and some working for the satisfaction of making their own money and being able to buy luxuries such as cars or electronic appliances. Teenagers started to listen to rock-n-roll and rebelled against society. Adults were scared because of the mixing of blacks and whites (teenagers of both races listened to rock and attended concerts) and they disliked beatniks who challenged traditional patterns of respectability and shocked other Americans with their more open sexuality and their use of illegal drugs.