Chapter 32: Through The Picture Window: Society And Culture, 1945–1960

Chapter Outline

  1. Postwar economy
    1. Growth and prosperity
      1. Military spending
      2. International trade dominance
      3. Technological innovation
      4. Baby boom and consumer demand
    2. GI Bill of Rights
      1. Economic measure
      2. Veterans Administration
      3. Benefits and effects
      4. Participants
    3. Consumer culture
      1. Television
        1. Popularity
        2. “Electronic hearth”
      2. Dispersion of affluence
        1. Labor and blacks
        2. Exceptions
      3. Marketing and packaging
      4. Credit cards
    4. Growth of suburbs
      1. Rural-to-urban migration
      2. Levittowns
      3. Automobiles and roads
      4. “White flight”
    5. African-American migration
      1. Reasons for moving
      2. Effects on northern cities
  2. Postwar conformity
    1. Corporate life
      1. White-collar jobs
      2. Large corporations
    2. Women and the cult of domesticity
    3. Religion
      1. Growth in church membership
        1. Religious revival
        2. Patriotism
        3. Marketing of religion
      2. Reverend Norman Vincent Peale and positive thinking
      3. Neo-orthodoxy
        1. Critical of religiosity
        2. Reinhold Niebuhr
    4. Critics of social conformity
      1. John Kenneth Galbraith’s The Affluent Society
      2. The Crack in the Picture Window
      3. David Riesman and The Lonely Crowd
    5. Youth culture
      1. Consumerism at shopping malls
      2. Permissive parents
      3. Juvenile delinquency
      4. Mobility
    6. Rock ’n’ roll
      1. Origins
      2. Bridge between white and black music
      3. Elvis Presley
      4. Vehicle for youth revolt
      5. Controversial
  3. Alienation and liberation in the arts
    1. Drama
      1. Oppressiveness of mass culture
      2. Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman
    2. The novel
      1. The individual’s struggle for survival
      2. James Jones’s From Here to Eternity
      3. Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man
    3. Painting
      1. Edward Hopper and desolate loneliness
      2. Abstract expressionism
        1. Violent and chaotic modern society
        2. Jackson Pollock
        3. Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, et al.
    4. The Beats
      1. Liberation of self-expression
      2. Greenwich Village background
      3. Allen Ginsberg’s Howl
      4. Jack Kerouac’s On the Road
      5. Anti-heroes
        1. James Dean and Marlon Brando
        2. Mort Sahl and Lenny Bruce
        3. Bob Dylan
      Close this Page