1950s American Culture Essay

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The 1950s in the United States showed a shift in American culture that stemmed from economic expansion after the war. Because economic growth caused families to have more money and opportunities the culture changed through a movement across middle-class America to the suburbs, a religious resurgence, and a rebellion among the younger generation. The “American dream” changed during this period to the “white picket fence” ideal that many were achieving and to many Americans, society seemed perfect, however, there grew a dissatisfaction that would eventually bring the United States into an age of activism after this one short but essential decade: the 1950s. The post-war period showed economic growth that allowed more families to purchase houses.…show more content…
Many had money to spend on their own placing them outside complete dependence on their parents. They had more freedom to choose what they consumed and did with their free time. With this, there was a growing gap between the teenage generation and their parents. This gap that would continue to be a theme in modern American history. Much of this stemmed from a youth rejecting the ideals of their parents. These teens had not experienced the hardships of the war and therefore while their parents desired the economic stability that suburbs provided their children desired more excitement. . The rebellion of the younger generation had a lot to do the repetitive nature of middle-class American society. Many teenagers wanted to feel connected to something bigger than their suburban community. Automobiles represented freedom for teenagers. Cars symbolized a rite of passage for teens and many would own their own cars. With the freedom that a car provided teenagers would frequent drive-through restaurants and drive-in movies. These actions and the general mentality of teenagers in the 50s caused them to gain a bad reputation. Though the sexual revolution is often associated with later decades, it began in the 50s with music and new types of media as well as celebrities that showed teens a more relaxed sexual perspective than their parents preached. Rock and Roll became the

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