The sixties was a time in American society where the youth from the post-war baby boom era became teenagers and the young adults. The movement from the conservative fifties continued and eventually resulted in the revolutionary ways of thinking and change in the cultural of the American way of life. With an extreme admiration of no longer being an image of their predeceasing generation, young Americans wanted and demanded change. These changes affected education, values, laws, entertainment, and the way of life for several citizens around the country. As society, it is extremely important to understand that although the valiant efforts and impact that African American’s had, particularly in the 1950’s and 1960’s, in helping restructure American culture, many of the racist views of the past still play apart in American society. The 1950’s is often described as the calm before the storm of the 1960’s. During this time period, society was very much conformed to the views of conservative living. The desire for security during this era, reinforced by McCarthyism at home and the Korean War, created was known as the cold war culture. During the post WWII period in America, the face of the nation changed greatly under President Truman and Eisenhower. Because of extreme paranoia caused by Communism following WWII, conformity in the United States became an ideal way to distinguish American culture from the rest of the world.
Conformity became evident through the medium of culture, society, and politics throughout the era of the 1950’s. The country was in such fear of Communism, that President Truman led the government in a revolt against any who claimed to be a Communist in the American government. Again, due to fear of being ostracized, Eisenhower, the proceeding president, was reluctant to confront McCarythism. The Red Scare of the 1950’s was thriving and the presidents waged war against foreign Communist powers in order not be accused of being sympathetic towards the opposition. They conformed to public opinion and shaped politics in America into Cold War. The public conformed towards the “American Dream.” Everyone wanted a home in the suburbs, a car, and a television set. Women were expected to get married, and take care of the children while their husbands went to work and provided financially for his family. Americans who did not conform to the “idealistic” way of thinking, put themselves in danger of being blacklisted as Communists. Cars and refrigerators were sold at affordable prices as well. Suburbia became the center of social conformity and the good life.
Although during this time period America was seen as the utopia of planet earth, there were several social issues that continued to trouble many American families. As the later part of the 1950’s approached, there was a continued increase of children, specifically teenagers, who begin to question their parents about many political and social issues. Soon after, there was a great increase of people who began smoking marijuana, engaging in sexual activity with numerous people. As a result, there were many movements that would take place in the 1960’s (the Civil Rights Movement, the Gay and Lesbian Rights Movement, the Black Power Movement, the Woman’s Liberation Movement, etc.). Along with teenagers defying the norms of society, there was also a great amount of woman who started going to college, working, and separating themselves from traditional “stay at home house-wives.” During a class discussion, it was mentioned that many woman during the 1950’s became tired of staying at home every single day, raising children, while, their husbands went to work and had some type of social life.
As well as teenagers rebelling and woman who were tired of the traditional “house-wife” roles, African Americans were believed by many to have suffered the most during this time period. In an era of “good life,” several advertisements only featured...
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