How was television connected to consumer spending in the 1950s?can you also describe the rise in television ownership? also discuss how television influenced american social and cultural expectations

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brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

American television ownership rose quickly in the 1950s as ownership of radios had risen quickly in the 1920s - it was the new fad, the latest thing.  With the good jobs and strong economy of the time leaving lots of free cash and available credit, ownership of TVs quickly spread to the mainstream population.

The TV shows and advertisements were idealized versions of the American family and our cultural life - Leave it to Beaver kind of families where everyone was white, Christian, wholesome and with no dysfunctions.

While this wasn't reality in any sense, it told Americans what some thought reality should be, what they should strive for, and it fostered a sense of economic competition with the neighbors.  Success became measured by the toys you owned, the ones the TV so effectively advertised to you.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In my opinion, TV contributed to consumer spending because it influenced American social and cultural expectations.

First of all, TV was connected to consumer spending because more and more people came to believe that they needed to have a TV.

Second, once they had TVs, they became exposed to more ads and more effective ads (because they were visual) than they ever had been before.  Both in the ads and in the shows themselves, people saw a standard of living that they wanted to have for themselves.  This made them want to consume more.