Cultural conformity and challenge

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When was America characterised by greater Conformity?
After the Second World War
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How did the Cold War help promote Conformity?
The continued international tensions with the USSR led to Americans believing national unity and Conformity would help them with the threat
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What was the heartland of Conformity?
The rapid growth of suburbia
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How was the American way of life described?
As a middle class family living in the suburbs
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How did social critic Stanley Rowland describe Conformity in the suburbs In 1956?
Everyone in the suburbs buys the right car, keeps his lawn like his neighbours, eats crunchy breakfast cereal and votes Republican
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What was the name of William H Whyte’s bestseller book in 1956?
The Organization Man
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By what percentage did the number of salaried middle class workers rise by between 1947 and 1957?
61%
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Why was their a rise in salaried workers?
Explosive growth of large corporations that needed specialised personnel to market and manage the corporate product
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How many copies were sold of The Organization Man?
Two million
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What did Whyte argue suburban life promoted?
Getting along and belonging
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What did Whyte argue about huge corporate enterprises?
They had created a new managerial personality, ‘the organisation man’ who had to get along with thousands of co-workers
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What did Whyte say about the nature of suburban life and the growth of large, bureaucratic organisations?
They threatened the individualism and entrepreneurialism that had made America great
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By 1969, what percentage of American homes had televisions?
90%
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What were two of the most popular sitcoms?
‘I Love Lucy,’ ‘Father Knows Best’ - later followed by ‘The **** Van Dyke Show’
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Why did critics say television had a dangerous influence on viewers?
They promoted Conformity, promoted consumerism through advertisements and programme content, caused a decline in educational test scores and reading and made viewers physically inactive and mentally passive
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What was a recurring theme in 1950s sitcoms?
The undersirability of middle class women going to work. Highlighted in the ‘Betty: Girl Engineer’ episode of Father Knows Best
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What was was the most popular game show?
$64,000 question
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How did Hollywood movies reflect and perpetuate 1950s conservatism and values?
Popular western movies and tv shows invariably portrayed heroic men, submissive women and evil indians
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What was the Motion Picture Code?
The set of industry moral guidelines that was applied to most United States motion picture releases by major studios from 1930 to 1968
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Why were more sexually explicit films, such as Baby Doll, able to be released?
Public attitudes were liberalising and a 1952 Supreme Coirt ruling had granted freedom of expression to films
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In what film was the first interracial embrace shown?
Island in the Sun (1957)
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What did the 1958 film , The Defiant Ones show?
Black and white convicts chained together to co-operate and survive. It was an example of movies beginning to challenge racial stereotypes and attitudes
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Which types of films dominated Us theatres?
Escapist, blockbuster films
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Which types of films were not popular with US audiences?
Suburban Life - No Down Payment was a flop
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How was sympathy for disaffected youth limited in films?
The parent would always re-establish control - in Rebel Without A Cause James Dean’s character eventually recognises his father’s authority and valuable support
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How much money was spent on advertising in 1960?
$11.9 billion - it was previously $5.7 billion in 1950
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What were Beats?
Middle-class youths who rejected materialism, the consumer culture and conformity for a lifestyle characterise did by spontaneity, drugs, free love and a general defiance of authority and convention
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From 1958, the term Bestnik was coined. Which characteristics described a beatnik?
Sandals of barefoot (male), long straight hair, tight jeans and baggy sweaters (female) experimentation with drugs, interest in Asian religions, support for sexual liberation and new forms of literature and music (poetry readings at coffee houses)
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Which type of music was associated with teenage culture?
Rock’n’Roll
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Why was rock’n’roll popular amoung young people?
It added to their sense of group identity, with temporary jobs and generous allowances from parents they had more money to spend on records ($521 million in 1960)
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What was the name of Margaret Mead’s book in 1951, which claimed disrespect for teachers was due to a rapid change in US Society?
The School in American Culture
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Who first coined the term Rock’n’Roll?
Alan Freed on radio station WINS, in nyc in 1954
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Who was rock’n’rolls First national idol?
Elvis Presley
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What happened when Elvis performed on the Ed Sullivan Show?
He was filmed only from the waist up due to his ‘suggestive’ hip movements
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

How did the Cold War help promote Conformity?

Back

The continued international tensions with the USSR led to Americans believing national unity and Conformity would help them with the threat

Card 3

Front

What was the heartland of Conformity?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

How was the American way of life described?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

How did social critic Stanley Rowland describe Conformity in the suburbs In 1956?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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