Postwar America: The Golden Age of Television Essay

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The ‘Golden Age of Television’ is what many refer to as the period between the 1950s and 60s when the television began to establish itself as a prevalent medium in the United States. In 1947, the American Broadcasting Company (ABC), Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), the National Broadcasting Company (NBC), and the Du Mont Network were the four main television networks that ran stations with regular programming taking place. (Television, 2003) While regular television programming was a new innovation, the television itself had been commercially available for over twenty years prior to the 50s. It was conceived by many worldly innovators and went through several testing stages before it was finally completed in the late twenties. The…show more content…
Establishing a strong sense of community was important; particularly after the years of war that had families torn apart. Moreover, people were looking to enjoy themselves and were willing to spend extra time and money on leisure activities. “By purchasing their detached suburban homes, the young couples of the middle class participated in the construction of a new community of values; in magazines, and on the airwaves they became cultural representatives of the ‘good life’”. (Spigel, 2001, pp.32) In addition, she says that those living in the suburbs secured a position of meaning in the public sphere as private landowners. (Spigel, 2001, pp. 32) This is important culturally because there was an emphasis on creating a distinction between the home space (private space) and the outside space (public space) in America in this decade. This connects to television’s unique ability to bring the spectator’s public world into a private space—an integral part of its rise to cultural significance. “In 1950, only 9 percent of American homes had a television set, by the end of that decade that figure rose to nearly 90 percent, and the average American watched at least five hours a day”. (Spigel, 2001, pp. 33) Connecting the public world into a private space stemmed bigger hopes for television. It hoped to overcome social unrest and to connect communities all

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