Domestic Life in the 1950s

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What seems to have been the chief purpose of mass media during the 1950s?

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The mass media blossomed in the 1950s, and in many ways, this was the era of the television. Newspaper and print were still flourishing as we;;, because the computer had yet to dethrone them, so media was at an all-time high. The media served two primary purposes, one of them political and one of them economic.

Mass media, prior to the Vietnam War, was well known for being patriotic and reporting America's great deeds to its people. It was essentially used as propaganda, particularly during the Cold War–era tension that the United States was experiencing. This changed during later wars, as the reality of war began to be displayed through reporting.

An additional purpose of the mass media in the 1950s was advertising. This was the heyday of advertising (continuing throughout the next several decades). With television, radio, and print all becoming much more commonplace in the American household, companies were more inclined to begin including advertisement so they could sell more products. This was extremely effective, especially in these early days of advertising.

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While the growth of media outlets in the form of television, newspapers, and magazines diversified the media market, the chief purpose seems to have been to drive consumer demand for goods.  The emergence of mediums like television was driven by consumer demand.  The need for consumers to "get things" was something that the media ensured was always delivered.  As ratings became critical for networks and sponsors, the growth of media was always "brought to you by" a specific company or industry.  

The media was almost a carrying device for product placement and specific brand endorsement.  The chief purpose of mass media was  a gold mine for commercial powers.  They were able to understand the ratings system to ensure that their products were always visible and present in the minds of the consumer on shows that the consumer watched.  Studies of specific demographics and target audiences ensured that corporate sponsorship delivered.  This drove demand on the part of the consumer.  The emergence of mass media practices widened the market and enabled corporations to become financially profitable through the use of media.  While there was great diversity in the media, the message that was being conveyed and its primary purpose was to be drive home products and goods which could be purchased with the ravenous appetite of the 1950s consumer.

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