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The fifties were a fresh start for America. Unlike the previous generation, the young people did not have to worry about poverty or war. They were living in a time of relative peace and prosperity. The Cold War was much less of a direct threat then World War II.
There were many contributions to the rise of pop culture in the 1950s. I think that many of these convgered upon one another to create a setting where the pop culture was able to rise out of these conditions. One of these preconditions was the overall economic prosperity and growth of the time period. Emerging from World War II as the foremost leader of capitalism and democracy in the West, the soldiers who returned home after a successful campaign against fascism and repression found themselves in the midst of a huge economic boom that the war provided. The result of this economic prosperity led to an overall standard of living that had not been seen in the country's history. The development of suburbs allowed families to live in relative prosperous growth and conformity. It was in this element that pop culture began to be facilitated among young people as a statement of rebellion. Kids began to embrace music that emphasized youth and zeal, with artists the exuded a sense of "cool" that their parents were not able to understand. The rhythm of this music was highly syncopated, with dancing possible, and the end result was to allow a culture that emphasized youth, cool, and the overall impression of being "hip" to emerge within a backdrop of stability, growth, and prosperity. Kids felt comfortable emerging into their own definition of pop culture while being able to go home at night to their own bedroom and bed, or someone else's, in a suburb of relative affluence.
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