The Persuasive Power of Television in the 1960’s Essay

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For Americans, the 1960’s were a time of both unnerving turmoil and exciting change. Following on the heels of the 1950’s themes of tradition and conformity, the contrasting events and attitudes in the sixties constituted a perfect storm leading to a reconstruction of American social, cultural, and political ideals. Although each decade has experienced identifying features, events occurring during the sixties provided for a definitive coming of age era for the United States. While much of this revolution can be attributed to the events themselves, the medium used for disseminating these ideas bears some of the responsibility. Throughout the decade television replaced radio and newspaper as the primary source of news and entertainment. …show more content…
For Americans, the 1960’s were a time of both unnerving turmoil and exciting change. Following on the heels of the 1950’s themes of tradition and conformity, the contrasting events and attitudes in the sixties constituted a perfect storm leading to a reconstruction of American social, cultural, and political ideals. Although each decade has experienced identifying features, events occurring during the sixties provided for a definitive coming of age era for the United States. While much of this revolution can be attributed to the events themselves, the medium used for disseminating these ideas bears some of the responsibility. Throughout the decade television replaced radio and newspaper as the primary source of news and entertainment. Unlike other forms of media, combining the components of auditory and visual stimulation allowed TV to become a powerful mass media distribution outlet, which uniquely shaped the attitudes and experiences of Americans in the 1960’s. Each form of mass media distribution endures a peak prior to being replaced by a new source. The popularity of print media as a source of news and entertainment was eclipsed by radio, and eventually Americans turned away from radio broadcasts in favor of television. Prior to the global access afforded by home computers, television provided Americans a wider encompassing vision of the world than print and radio. In 1946 it is estimated that only 5000 U.S. households owned a television; by the 1960’s, 9 out of

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