Chapter 32

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

Chapter Outline

I. People of plenty

  1. The postwar economy
    1. Dramatic growth of the economy
    2. Reasons for growth
      1. Military spending
      2. Automation
      3. Consumer demand
    3. The GI Bill of Rights
      1. Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944
      2. GI Bill democratized higher education
    4. The Baby Boom and its effects
  2. Consumer culture
    1. Home construction boom
      1. Appliances
      2. The television
    2. Increased purchasing
      1. Black and white wage comparisons
      2. Role of advertising
      3. Credit vs. saving
      4. Shopping centers
  3. Suburban frontier
    1. Urban growth
      1. Most population growth was urban and suburban
      2. Rise of "Sunbelt"
      3. Suburbia
    2. Reasons for suburban growth
      1. Levittown and mass production
      2. Low-cost loans
      3. Automobiles and highways
      4. Racial considerations
    3. The great black migration

II. A conforming culture

  1. Corporate life
    1. Middle class conformity
    2. Growth of big business
  2. Women's "place"
  3. Religious revival
    1. Americans as joiners
    2. Increase in church membership
    3. Other reasons for religious revival
      1. Patriotism
      2. The message of the popular religion
    4. Reinhold Niebuhr's criticism of religious trends

III. The lonely crowd

  1. Social criticism
    1. Galbraith's The Affluent Society
    2. Keats's The Crack in the Picture Window
    3. Riesman's The Lonely Crowd
    4. Mills's White Collar Society
  2. The Stage---Miller's Death of a Salesman
  3. Representative novelists
  4. Painting
    1. Edward Hopper
    2. Jackson Pollock
  5. The Beats
    1. Leading figures
    2. Their philosophy and works
    3. Their influence

IV. Youth culture

  1. Teens as consumers and conformists
  2. Delinquency
  3. Rock 'n' roll
    1. Alan Freed
    2. Elvis
    3. Naysayers

V. A paradoxical era

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