How did US popular culture change in the post-WW2 years?
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When you ask how it changed in the post-WWII years, how long are you talking about? How far does "post-WWII" extend? I'm going to answer this as if it only extends into the mid 1950s.
To me, the biggest change in popular culture during that time was the rise of a teen culture. During this time, teens came to have more leisure time and more disposable income than had ever been the case before. This helped lead to the growth of such things as rock and roll music.
So I would say that a major change in popular culture was a move towards music and other things that were popular with teens.
There were many changes in popular culture following WWII. First, television began to become more widespread throughout the United States. This led to huge changes in pop culture with the emergence of TV stars such as Milton Berle, Lucille Ball, and James Arness, along with the creation of popular TV shows such as the Tonight Show. Another change occurred when professional sports moved to the west coast and became integrated creating such stars as LA Dodger Jackie Robinson. These are just some of the changes that occurred after WWII that changed pop culture in the U.S.
After World War II, America experienced a period of greatest economic growth, Also a population boom occurred which contributed to increased demand for consumer goods. This also added to the economic boom.
Th increased prosperity contributed to a change in life style of most of the people. Ownership of houses increased and many people moved in from cities to suburban areas. With theses need for and ownership of cars also increased. This in turn encouraged building of new roads. People started to take more holidays, and to support this many new motels and restaurants were set up.
Use of many new domestic appliances became popular. This included television, washing machines, dryers, dish washers and waste disposal units.
In spite of general prosperity millions of Americans continued to live in poverty. This started the practice of active social protests. This included the strengthening of the civil rights movement.
The culture changed with economic prosperity, just as it did in the 1920s. With leisure time, modern conveniences, material goods, their own homes and decent wages, people were more able to concentrate on art, music, sports, vacations and materialism, which has been the outline of our culture since that time.
As the economy grew, so did the demand for consumer goods. Life got easier with advancements in modern conveniences and automated machinery. Installment plans enabled people to get these appliances and conveniences (electric washers and dryers, televisions, etc.) into their homes like never before. Transportation and communication got cheaper and more efficient, allowing more travel than ever before--as well as an increase in the need for gasoline and the advent of motels (motor hotels) for those on the road. Having free time to spend on a variety of pursuits was the major cause of all the pop culture elements of the late '40s and especially the '50s.
The post war era was the popularization of Rhythm and Blues music which led to Rock and Roll music. This period also saw the world of professional sports expand from the east coast to the west. Movies and movie stars became more easily accessible with the inventions of television.
After World War II, culture, especially American, changed quite a bit. Radio's were extremely popular, as well as phones, and many people felt more connected to others and even the outside world than ever before. Television was also becoming increasingly popular, and instead of sitting in the living room, reading or listening to the radio, many families enjoyed watching TV instead.
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