Domestic Life in the 1950s

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What groups did not share in the general prosperity of Americans during the 1950s?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I think a case can be made for the "marginalized" in American soceity as being the primary targets of the social order's silence in the 1950s.  In this, I mean that the traditionally silenced narratives did not find themselves a part of the post World War II prosperity of America.  For example, those who were gay or lesbian found themselves having to live inside the closet and "play the role" of a straight person.  The narrative of what it means to be gay and how one comes out was silenced and totally discredited in the time period.  Women, in general, were still seen as tools of objectification and the flickers and embers of a sexual revolution faced stiff inertia within the time period.  Few women worked.  Those who did had to take jobs where they were subservient to men.  The idea of "His Girl Friday" was a pleasant way of revealing the truth that women in the workplace were second fiddles to men.  People of color, as previously discussed, were outside of the realm of prosperity.  Immigrants were seen as second class citizens and those who were of the Jewish persuasion faced outward discrimination through attitudes and language.  These groups were not able to share in the general prosperity of the 1950s, what some would term "the good old days."

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brettd eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Absolutely agree with the above post, although the 1950s did have at least a recognizable black middle class, and this in part helped spur the effectiveness of economic boycotts during the Civil Rights Movement.

In addition, Native Americans still largely lived in abject poverty on reservations, ignored by the government and the population at large.  The best land and resources had...

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