What groups did not really share in the good times of the 1950s?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

While we must keep in mind that not all members of various groups experienced the 1950s in exactly the same ways, we can generally say that most white men and many white women enjoyed the benefits of the good times of the 1950s.  It was mainly non-whites and a few small groups of whites who were less fortunate.

White men in general did well in this time.  The economy was booming.  There were large numbers of white collar jobs for men who had gone to college, often on the GI Bill.  American factories were also booming.  This meant that there were jobs that paid middle class wages to people with little education. 

Nonwhites did less well.  There was still a great deal of discrimination against people of color.  This meant that they had a harder time getting good jobs.  They had a harder time moving to the suburbs.  They were less well-off economically and they were not treated well in social and political terms.  Therefore, life was not so great for them.

Some white women were unhappy as well.  This was a time when women were becoming more marginalized.  They were expected to stay at home in the suburbs and have their lives revolve around their children.  This was deeply frustrating to some women and they experienced this period in a negative way.

Finally, there were fringe groups like communists and “beats” who did not enjoy the ‘50s.  The communists were persecuted because of the red scare.  The “beats” were out of place in a society that was materialistic and ambitious.  These people did not find the 1950s to be congenial either.

 Thus, we can generally say that most white men and many white women had the most positive experience of the 1950s.