What were some of the sociological effects of suburban living after WWII?
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There are numerous effects that can, at least arguably, be traced to rise in suburbanization in the years after World War II. Let us look at three of the most important.
First, there was the rising dissatisfaction on the part of women. In suburbia, women were often stuck in their homes, away from any support groups or means of socializing. They were essentially told that their job was to stay in the home, raise the kids, and support their husbands. This led to a situation in which they became dissatisfied with the choices and opportunities that they had. The women’s movement of the 1960s can be said to have come, at least in part, from suburbanization.
Second, there was the growing impoverishment of the inner cities. After the war, the government started loaning money to people to buy houses in the suburbs, but its policies generally prevented African Americans from participating. This started a trend in which the middle class (and above) whites moved to the suburbs while poor people and minorities were left in the cities in communities that were highly impoverished. This helped lead to the sorts of inner city problems with poverty, crime, and poor education that we face even today.
Finally, suburbanization led eventually to the counterculture of the ‘60s. Suburban youths had materially very good lives, but felt that their parents did not care about them and did not really have any non-financial aspirations. This feeling, whether warranted or not, led to the creation of the counterculture in the 1960s.
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