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Chapter 45 “Happy Days” Popular Culture in the Fifties, 1947–1963.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 45 “Happy Days” Popular Culture in the Fifties, 1947–1963."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 45 “Happy Days” Popular Culture in the Fifties, 1947–1963

2 Let the Good Times Roll Leadership under Dwight Eisenhower Gives people reassurance Relies on administrators, businessmen Ike’s style and its critics Leaves negotiating, study to subordinates Relies heavily on Sherman Adams’s advice Scandal forces Adams to resign, 1958 Critics poke fun at Ike’s speech, love of leisure

3 Let the Good Times Roll Let the Good Times Roll (cont.’d) We’re in the money Eisenhower easily wins re-election 1950s a time of prosperity Little shift in distribution of wealth Far more discretionary income Fads Television launches Davy Crockett mania Hula hoops and Barbie dolls Chlorophyll improves odors? Fads indicate conformism in culture

4 Let the Good Times Roll Let the Good Times Roll (cont.’d) The Television Invented in the 1920’s Extensive programming available in late 1940’s Televisions become common in homes Americans want light entertainment Westerns very popular on television Quiz shows also popular Cheating on quiz shows big scandal Social and cultural fallout Film industry hurt Hollywood produces shows for TV Americans socialize less Children spend hours with TV

5 Suburbia Middle class automobile suburb sets cultural tone for 1950s Try to mimic television shows Single-home dwelling in subdivision defines the new good life Flight from the cities African Americans move to cities for jobs “White flight” of middle class to suburbs Serious housing shortage follows World War II Mass produced housing creates suburbs

6 Suburbia Suburbia (cont.’d) Assembly-line homes Homogenous racially and economically Strong supporters of Eisenhower equilibrium Join Churches, do not want religion to disturb them Adopt insular lifestyle Conformists or innovators New communities require new institutions New volunteer associations New schools, extra-scholastic programs New patterns of socializing

7 Suburbia Suburbia (cont.’d) Suburbs require automobiles Every family needs a car Cars become status symbols Easy credit increases consumer borrowing Automobile economy Growth of car-related industries Congress passes Interstate Highway Act Increased traffic makes cities less desirable Cities begin deteriorating Birthrate rises sharply in 1945; peaks in 1961 Birthrate stays high until 1970s Economy, culture focuses on new generation Rock ’n’ roll product of new youth culture

8 Dissenters Critics William H. Whyte, Jr., The Organization Man David Riesman, The Lonely Crowd C. Wright Mills, White Collar Sloan Wilson, The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit Beatniks and squares Focuses around Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg Reject 1950s culture, mainstream employment, consumerism Adopt obscure writers, Zen Buddhism, jazz Sexual mores also changing in suburbia

9 Dissenters (cont.’d) Role of women Peyton Place displayed sex Women return to traditional roles 1950s women more mobile Emphasis on helping husband, being “sexy” 1963 sees challenge to women’s roles Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique Sees women’s roles as demeaning Pushes women to move into new roles

10 Discussion Questions What was Eisenhower’s leadership style like and how was it reflective of the mood in America during his terms in office? How did the advent of television change America’s culture and society? Examine the rise of the suburbs in the 1950s. Why did it occur? Were the suburbs reflective of American society? How did the role of women, in work and at home, change in the 1950s?

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