Once working citizens had started to receive higher salaries, they could afford more and nicer items than they would have otherwise. According to Daily life… (Kaldin, 2000) the average working man could buy a split-level house on display. In one year, the overage woman bought nine dresses and suits and 14 pairs of shoes. New appliances had also been invented during the 1950s. These appliances were simple in design with basic designs that reflected a new style of European modernism. The 1950s brought a “populux age “to America- a time when every appliance had handles or was easy to lift. Because of this, most appliances and technology could be moved around the house. This was just one of the advances in
The 1950’s were a great time and one main reason was because most people were happy with their lives because everything was going well. In the 1950’s most men had
The 1950’s were called the “Happy Days” for multiple reasons. We were finished with a huge war, and our economy was booming. Social, political and economic policies were popping up everywhere. Many things define why the 1950’s were the “Happy Days” in the U.S. Whether it was the end of the Korean War for the U.S. or the economic boom that helped define what we call the “American Dream” the 1950’s were great times for America.
Coontz analyses both the weakness and strengths of the period and takes a ‘sarcastic’ approach. She is able to indicate the ideal time for the Americans pointing positive outlooks such as education, birthrate, economic expansion, jobs, family oriented culture and social environment. Her weakness about the myth of the 1950s includes teen pregnancies, poverty, marital problems, discrimination, racial and gender inequalities. She attacks the political system who continues states the goods of the 1950s but the politicians have not created and advanced the ideals and optimism of the 1950s. She categorically attacks the perceptions of people saying the 1950s was good even though when compared to the freedoms and engagements of these days, the 1950s’ thinkers are misplaced. The following quote summarizes her perspective, “This confidence that almost everyone could look forward to a better future stands in sharp contrast to how most contemporary Americans feel, and it explains why a period which many people were much worse off than today sometimes still looks like a better period for families than our own” (p. 40). Based on the historical and available information, Coontz argument may suffice because currently, nobody thinks about the future since the economic and social challenges are immense. The optimism is absent while challenges of discrimination, prejudice are fading. Hence, the article cleverly covers the
Children had to go to school and obey their teachers and parents, women had to run the households and always look their best, and men had to go out for their jobs and provide money. Children would always call their fathers “sir” and would show great amounts of respect. And at school, children would greet their teachers with a “Hello, Ma’am” or “Hello Sir”; they showed absolute esteem to their friends and teachers. Women and children would also dress up no matter where they went, whether they were at school or cooking at home. These were principles in the 1950s; nowadays, men and women of all ages are addicted to the modern technology, their appearance, and their social lives. Children and teens are absorbed in the house, never looking up to the nature around them. There are many differences among the 1950s and now; teens are more rebellious than ever, science is being more advanced, and our homes and lives are more technologically
In the 1950’s American families went through several changes, some of which were positive and beneficial. There were many new technological breakthroughs. Additionally, new forms of entertainment created a generational divide between young people and adults. Americans entered a period of postwar abundance, with expanding suburbs, growing families, and more white-collar jobs. The average income of American families roughly tripled. Thousands of families rushed to buy the inexpensive homes. New suburbs multiplied throughout the United States. Affordability was the key reason most Americans moved to the suburbs.
At the forefront of the argument is the societal ideology of the American people during the era, most of whom were trapped in a traditionalist mind-set, one that required them to disregard generations of social norms, which had been subconsciously spoon-fed to them through media advertisements such as billboards and magazines most notably Cosmopolitan and Woman’s Journal, that had set a psychologically restrictive standard about what was acceptable. Following the baby boom of the 1960’s with the birth of a massive seventy-six million children, the American people were clearly in a mind-set of traditional family
The 1950s is described as the “‘golden age’ of capitalism,” where a comfortable standard of living became accessible to many new, middle-class Americans (991). According to Foner, “the official poverty rate, 30 percent of all families in 1950, had declined to 22 percent a decade later”(991). The poverty rate declined as more Americans entered white-collared jobs with increased wages. Essentially, the “American standard of living” during the 1950s was characterized by the ability of citizens to participate in the mass consumerist society; this was only possible through an increase in income. Jack Straus, the chairman of the board of Macy’s stated “‘The consumer is the key to our economy...The luxuries of today are the necessities of tomorrow’”(Foner 994). The American economy was based off of consumers; “In a consumer culture, the measure of freedom
What they failed to realize was that also during this time, there was segregation in schools, restaurants, bathrooms, courthouses, community, even water fountains. This was a major key to the 1950s lifestyle. It kept people of color away from Caucasians, making sure there was no interaction. There was a great ethnicity barrier, and it was apparent to see.
From the history that I have gathered from my parents and my grandparents, it is evident that families in the 1950s used clear and well defined patterns in meeting the roles defined in the family. Firstly, it is clear that the husband, in this case a male, was not only the head of the family, but also the sole provider. For example, my grandfather was telling me that, in the 1950s, women were not allowed to work; they were to do the house chores and take care of the children. Secondly, unlike today, in the 1950s, issues such as divorce, cohabitation, same-sex marriages, non-marital children bearing, and childrearing was not present in the 1950s. This is because the 1950s “defined” family was treated with values and dignity.
American culture in the 1950s was based on nuclear family. It was set of a perfect family for example, men go to work and support the family when women stayed home to raise a family. The people in the 1950s who raise their families had morals to have a value of having an ideal family. The women in the nuclear family had a commitment of taking care of their children and staying at home as being a
The decade of the 1950s represents an era where life was balanced, simple, and innocent. A time in the American history where a high school education promised a comfortable living and where family values were presented to audiences through television shows. In the article, Coontz argues that the simplicity and innocence that the people who lived in this time period enjoyed came at a high price. Coontz claims that generally those who felt that the 1950s was the "best time for children to grow up" would show their dislike for the treatment of women. They also would add that they would not particularly enjoy living with the most "of the fathers they knew in their neighborhoods." She also points out the economic and social reasons why the 1950s is so appealing to quite a lot of people. There were lower divorce rates, federal economic expansion programs, corporate tax programs, and
The 1950’s were cookie cutter; there was usually a working father, a homemaker mother, and a couple of kids. Although women were working and had jobs in the 1950’s, after WWII many women still stayed home being a house wife if the husband’s income could afford it. If women had jobs, and the job was unnecessary they were considered selfish. Having a husband at this time was more important than having a job or a degree. Marriage in the 1950’s was highly based around religion. Pre-marital sex was considered unacceptable, and women were married at ages as low as nineteen (People & Events, 1).
These social critics of the 1950s all agreed that this era was characterized by a lack of individuality. The idea of the American family is what everybody was after,the breadwinning father, the do everything at the house mother, and the daughter and son who were both excellent in school, and the boy in sports. This caused for suburbs to expand rapidly, and the people who lived in them were considered to be "other-directed" Americans. They were obsessed with conforming to social pressures and obtaining material goods. They strayed away from traditional American values such as frugality and self-denial. They were considered bland and blank wind-up toys. What else was concerning was the constant fear of nuclear breakout in the 50´s between the
We think of shows from the 1950’s, like Leave it to Beaver, as the outline that a family structure should have. Dad worked, Mom stayed at home, and the home had school aged children. Diane Crisbell, in her article Myths of the 1950’s, found that 79% of US homes had this structure in the 50’s. During this time only 25% of married women worked outside the home. Non Traditional families, or those that had only one parent, made up only 11% of the families. Crisbell also noted that girls were less likely to have children out of wedlock and that there was less crime during the 1950’s. In 2007 Time International did a study. In this study they found that in the 1950’s 79% of newly wed couples would reach their 15th wedding anniversary.