Response to The Damned and the Beautiful: American Youth in the 1920's

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Paula Fass’s The Damned and the Beautiful: American Youth in the 1920's delves into the social and cultural climate of the 1920’s middle-class youth in America. Fass observes the multidimensional dynamics of the post-World War I society as citizens adjust to pertinent matters such as industrialization, prohibition and immigration. Amidst the ongoing social, political and economical issues of the early twentieth century, youth played an active role in contemporary life. Adolescents responded to issues through altering their habits, behaviors and viewpoints. Their responses became evident in the public setting and American culture evolved. The transformation of American culture was spearheaded by youth who questioned and went against…show more content…
Secondly, a wide range of economic classes and racial and ethnic groups attended schools. Thus, diverse groups with differing mannerism and outlooks blended in schools. These elements were key in producing a peer culture. The role of school in society was to provide skills and knowledge to students as well as socialize them. Students are spending more time at school and being surrounded by members of their age groups. Thus, schools and peers were the two major elements in adolescent’s social life. A peer society developed as youth created their own culture and enforced peer pressure for American youth. The peer society was especially noticeable on college campuses around the United States. On campuses, students made connections beyond the classroom. They shaped a youth culture shaped which consisted of their own slang, flapper fashion, fads, and music. Students were away from their home and community, so peers replaced family roles. Colleges and universities begin to defined the youth society. Students became consumers and mass production enabled conformity in fashion. Campus newspaper kept the youth informed on the latest trends and activities. College students were not directly supervised and enjoyed their leisure time by dancing, attending the movies, and dating. Students set morals in peer society and determined the proper way to behaviors. In the 1920, socialization was evident in student involvement.

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