Britain and American Influence on Australian Pop Culture in the 1950s

1333 Words May 21st, 2012 6 Pages
The Influence of American and British Popular Culture on Australia in the 1950s
In the 1950s America and Britain influenced Australia’s popular culture in a number of ways. Although Australia’s national identity is evident in every part of popular culture, America and Britain both had a significant impact on the development of Australian culture since World War Two. Throughout out the decade they changed the way people thought about Australian fashion, music and entertainment. Fashion was based around celebrity images and American cinema and television became a big hit.
In the 1950s, the fashion industry was based mostly around teenagers and young adults. Before this time, adolescents were expected to follow in their parents’
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Movies starring young men as the main character such as The Wild One and Rebel Without a Cause inspired young men to follow punk style fashion trends. Wearing blue jeans, a white t-shirt, and a leather jacket became popular around this time, and it was causing a generation of young men to change their attitudes. This trend became “a symbol of teenage rebellion for boys everywhere.” However, not all boys were following this punk style of fashion. Many were leaning more towards the British styles and trends, including the ‘teddy boy’ style, which consisted of high waisted, narrow ‘drain pipe’ trousers, long jackets, slim ties and large, shiny, pointed shoes. (http://www.skwirk.com/p-c_s-14_u-189_t-506_c-1873/nsw/history/australia's-social-and-cultural-history-in-the-post-war-period/social-and-cultural-features-of-the-1950s/fashion-in-the-1950s)
By the 1950s it was becoming easier for more Australians to afford music products such as radios and vinyl records. Before television was introduced in Australia, radio was evidently the most popular form of entertainment. By 1955 and estimated 97% of Australian households owned a radio set. In the 1950s radio announcers often used American accents to make their products seem appealing and modern to young audiences. The vinyl record played a huge part of music in the 1950s because it was a new exciting and affordable way
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