Rise of Youth Power.
During the 1950s young Americans gained both in number and economic clout and so had a considerable influence over popular culture. Movies, music, magazines, and clothes—all reflected teenage interests and concerns that were distinct from those of their parents. Teens were eager consumers, with $7 billion to spend annually by mid decade. In 1956 according to Scholastic magazine, the average teenager had a weekly income of $10.55; just prior to the start of World War II that was the average weekly disposable income for an entire family. With more money inevitably came a certain degree of independence—less parental support was needed for socializing and purchasing. Parents might have worried that their children had too much freedom; but teens, like almost everyone else, benefited from the prosperity of postwar America.
Rock 'n' Roll.
The cornerstone of youth culture during the decade was...
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