In what ways did television during the 1950s both encourage conformity and spark desires for rebellion and change?

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pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Television during the 1950s encouraged conformity by giving everyone a common experience and by the fact that many of the shows promoted traditional values.  Because there were so few channels, many people watched the same shows, most of which (like Leave It To Beaver) promoted traditional values.

On the other hand, TV also showed things like American Bandstand.  This type of show showed teens a new way of life.  It was centered around rock and roll music, which was new in the '50s and was a serious concern to many parents.  By showing teens such things, it can be said to have helped promote rebellion.

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etotheeyepi's profile pic

etotheeyepi | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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My grandfather suggests that movies made during World War II formed a major part of the Saturday morning television line up in the 1950's.

He says, for example, when he saw the following clip from Casablanca, he wanted to go fight to protect the weak and defeat the feetless.