1989-1991

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  • TO WHAT EXTENT WAS 1981-1992 A PERIOD OF CULTURAL CHALLENGE FOR AMERICAN YOUTH
    • Technology and its impact on popular culture
      • 1980's saw a revolution in technology increasing the availability and ease of access
      • personal computers
        • August 1981 IBM 5150 PC released (16KB memory on floppy disks)
        • could be used by ordinary people
          • write and store data
      • games consoles
        • Atari 2600 in 1977 and Space Invaders 1980
          • followed by PAC-MAN hugely popular
        • 1985 emergence of Nintendo provided wide variety of games
        • by 1992 home entertainment had acquired a new dimension beyond radio and TV
      • music industry
        • CD's - first CD player Philips CD100 launched in August 1982
          • better sound quality than vinyls and cassette tapes
          • CD cost reduced to rival cassettes CD revolution arrived
            • 1984: CD sales of $103.4million
        • development of Walkman
          • revolutionised when and where people could listen to music
          • young people new way to listen to music
          • 1989 50 million Walkmans had been sold
      • video cassette and VCR
        • people could watch popular films and specetate sporting events from home
        • VHS dominated the market as VHS VCR cost $250 but betmax = $2,000
        • camcorders allowed home movies
          • massive boom in amateur home movie making - You've been Framed
    • growth of cable television and influence of MTV
      • by 1980's was possible to sign up for satellite and cable TV
        • dozens of channels at a time
      • 1980:  RE Turner set up CNN - major rival to terrestrial netowkrs (ABC, CBS)
      • viewing of cable TV rose from 9 to 26%
        • assisted by Reagan appointing Mark Fowler
          • Head of Federal Communicat- ions Commissions (1981-1987)
          • more competitive TV market
            • Cable Communications Policy Act 1984
        • from 1984-1992 $15 billion spent on laying cables across the USA
      • 1990 53 million households had subscribed to cable TV
      • number of cable TV networks grown from 28 1980 to 79 1989
      • MTV began broadcasting 24/7 music from August 1st 1981
        • major part in making of stars e.g. Madonna
        • impacted music industry immensely
          • music videos were a must as a creative promotional tool for records
        • Thriller in December 1983
          • once shown on MTV became global phenomenon
            • commissioned Hollywood director John Landis to shoot vieo
              • budget of $500,000
                • rights to show video on MTV sold for $200,000
      • 1984 MTV Music Video Awards
        • 1992 MTV Movie Awards
    • Impact of the AIDS crisis
      • biggest medical scare in the USA since Spanish Influenza pandemic 1918
        • 1983:600 deaths
        • 1991: 121, 255 aids related deaths
      • republican ignorance
        • 41,000 deaths before Reagan mentioned aids
          • due to death of close friend Rock Hudson
        • Reagan's Moral Majority supporters ignorant
      • led to isolation and further discrimination to homosexuals and homeless
      • divisions in US Society
        • moral majority vs liberal groups
        • Nancy advocated use of condoms to prevent aids but Reagan refused to enforce
      • many religious right supporters prevented help
        • Bowers vs Hardwick
          • outlawing gay sex in Georgia State Law 1986
    • Controversial issues in film and television
      • nuclear holocaust (controversial topic)
        • The Day After TV movie November 1983
        • height of the second cold war
        • encouraged Reagan to support the strategic Defence Initiative (Star Wars)
        • same month as Able Archer (NATO exercise)
          • with soviet leadership seen as possible pre-emptive nuclear attack
      • family life
        • The Cosby Show 1984 and 1992
        • black American actor Bill Cosby
          • middle class black american doctor and family
        • mirrored shows about family life in 1950/60's
          • Father Knows Best
        • Murphy Brown lots of political criticism
          • ambitious single mother
          • Dan Quayle US Vice President claimed programme undermined family values
      • escapism films
        • Indiana Jones and Rocky
        • some addressed important  social issues
          • 1983 Silkwood looked at radiatin poisoning
          • 1988 Rain Man dealt with Autisum
            • Dustin Hoffman won Best Actor Oscar
      • race relations
        • Mississippi Burning 1988
          • murder of black and white civil rights activists durng freedom summer of 1964
        • Boyz  the Hood 1991
          • looked at district of Watts (riots in 1992 and 65)

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