Postwar America Popular Culture of the 1950s
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Postwar America Popular Culture of the 1950s

The New Mass Media. The Rise of Television Popularity. During WWII televisions became affordable. Television news became an important vehicle for info. Athletic events gradually made collegiate and professional sports a prominent form of entertainment.

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Postwar America Popular Culture of the 1950s




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Presentation on theme: "Postwar America Popular Culture of the 1950s"— Presentation transcript:

Slide1

Postwar America

Popular Culture of the 1950s

Slide2

The New Mass Media

The Rise of Television Popularity

During WWII televisions became affordable

Television news became an important vehicle for infoAthletic events gradually made collegiate and professional sports a prominent form of entertainment

Comedy, Action, and GamesMany of the early television comedy shows were adapted from popular old radio shows

Quiz shows attracted large audiences

The

Twenty-One fraud turned audiences away from quiz shows

Slide3

The New Mass Media

Hollywood Adapts to the Times3-D movies with ridiculous plots were a short lived gimmick to re-attract television audiences

Cinemascope: movies shown on large, panoramic screensHowever… African Americans were often one-dimensional characters who rarely showed human emotions or characteristics.

African American actor Sidney Poitier resented having to play such parts.

Slide4

The New Mass Media

Radio Draws Them InWith audiences turning to television for entertainment, radio turned to: recorded music,

news, talk shows, weather, public-service programming, shows for specific audiences.

Slide5

The New Youth Culture

A small minority of youth in the 1950s brought widespread attention as they searched for excitement and freedom outside of the conformity preached by ad

ults.

The Birth of Rock n’ RollOhio, radio disc jockey Alan Freed

noticed white teenagers buying African American rhythm and blues

re

cords and dancing to the music in the store.

Freed played the music on the air and the station flourished.Elvis Presley: eventually claimed the title of “King of Rock n’ Roll”Parents condemned Rock n’ Roll for being too loud, mindless, and dangerous.

Slide6

The New Youth Culture

The Beat MovementMade up of mostly white artists who called themselves the beatsThe beats sought to live unconventional lives

In 1956, 29-year-old beat poet Allen Ginsburg published a long poem called “Howl”, which blasted modern American life.

Slide7

African American Entertainers

Talented African American singers and groups

who recorded hit songs in the fifties included:

Chuck Berry, Ray Charles, Little Richard, The Drifters

and many others.

Slide8

The Other Side of American Life

Poverty Amidst Prosperity

Michael Harrington: wrote of poverty i

n America in his book The Other America (single mot

hers, elderly, minority immigrants, and urban dwellers)The Decline of the Inner CityThe government encouraged the residence o

f poor ho

u

sing to remain poor by evicting them as soon as they began to earn moneyA large number of African Americans lived in the run down inner cities as others moved to the new suburbs

Slide9

The Other Side of American Life

Poverty Amidst ProsperityHispanics lived in poverty working on farms often stopping to sleep wherever they could find a place to sleep

Native AmericansTermination Policy: the US government launched a program to bring Native Americans into mainstream society whether they wanted to assimilate or not. This policy made poverty worst.Appalachia

People who’s families had lived in the Appalachian Mountains abandoned their homes to find work in the cities

Slide10

Juvenile Delinquency

A rise in, or a rise in reporting of juvenile delinquency took place in the 1950sCar Thefts topped the list of juvenile crimes

Experts do not agree on the increase of juvenile delinquencyAn increase in juvenile delinquency and the Soviet Union’s launch of Sputnik made people critical of the educational system

Slide11

Describe how the rise of television affected Hollywood, and how Hollywood responded.

Slide12

Describe how the rise of television affected Hollywood, and how Hollywood responded.

As television gained popularity, movies lost viewers. Through the 1950s, Hollywood struggled to recapture it’s audience. It tried contests, door prizes, and advertising, but most of these tactics failed to lure people out of their living rooms. Then Hollywood tried to make films more exciting by introducing 3-D films. These worked temporarily, but viewers soon tired of them. Cinemascope, movies shown on large, panoramic screens, finally gave Hollywood a reliable lure. Hollywood eventually began to film programs especially for television and sold old movies, which could be

cheaply rebroadcast by the networks.