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🥶 Unit 8

  •  ⏱️2 min read

8.5 Culture after 1945

Robby May

robby may

⏱️ June 2, 2020



Television suddenly became a center of family life in millions of American homes. Television programming in the 50s was dominated by three national networks, which presented viewers with a bland menu of situation comedies, westerns, quiz shows, and professional sports.


In all media, aggressive advertising by name brands promoted common material wants, and the introduction of suburban shopping centers and the plastic credit card in the 1950s provided a quick means of satisfying them. 

The expansion of chains of fast-food restaurants on the roadside was one measure of success for the new marketing techniques and standardized products as the nation turn from “mom and pop” stores to franchise operations. 

Popular Music

Popular music was revolutionized by the mass marketing of inexpensive, long-playing (LP) record albums and stacks of 45 rpm records. Teenagers fell in love with rock-and-roll music, a blend of African American rhythm and blues with white country music, popularized by the gyrating Elvis Presley.


Organized religion expanded dramatically after WWII with the building of thousands of new churches and synagogues.

There was a new emphasis on a personal relationship with Jesus from newly styled 'non-denominational' churches and 'community faith centers'. This period also saw the rise of non-traditional churches and megachurches with conservative theologies.

Conservative Christian denominations like the Southern Baptists grew quickly. They became known politically as the “religious right.

Religious leaders like the Rev. Billy Graham began to rise to prominence. During his six decades of television, Graham hosted annual "Crusades," evangelistic campaigns, which ran from 1947 until his retirement in 2005. Graham was a spiritual adviser to U.S. presidents and provided spiritual counsel for every president from Truman to Obama.

The Role of Women

The traditional view of a woman’s role as caring for home and children was reaffirmed in the mass media and in the best-selling self-help book, Baby and Child Care by Dr. Benjamin Spock

At the same time, evidence of dissatisfaction was growing, especially among well-educated women of the middle class. More married women, especially as they reached their middle age, entered the workforce. Yet male employers saw female workers primarily as wives and mothers, and women’s lower wages reflected this attitude. 

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