1950’s Youth Culture
Youth culture in the nineteen fifties was a time that opened up the world to be integrated for whites and blacks. In this paper the fifties are analyzed through the clothing, styles, cars, family life, and most importantly entertainment.
Talking to various members of my family I asked them if they could remember the way that the youth dressed in the nineteen- fifties. The responses were all similar. The popular man role wore tight white T- shirts which were described to me (I hate this expression)as ‘Guinea T’s.’ These are white T- shirts in which the manufacturer cut- off the sleeves. Also regular white T- shirts were worn with one sleeve rolled up with a pack of ...view middle of the document...
Society tried to keep the children innocent instead of letting them have fun. The Greaser style spawned off of this belief. I watched the movie "Grease" to see how teenage Greasers lived and where they hung out.
Places like the drive- in movie theater or the soda pop stand. Another big style was that of the surfers on the west coast and in Hawaii. The sport became open to the public for the first time in this decade. Everyone had a surfboard, or should I say a pier.
These surfboards were around ten feet tall and as thick as a drawer. They were made out of wood with a thin co! ating of fiberglass. The waters were packed and the terms to listen for were "hang ten" or "hangin’ loose." There were also the Beatniks. In their depressed outfits and sunglasses they recited poetry and brought back more of a philosophical look at things. They went and ran underground music stores in which they could purchase un filtered music. Music that society said rotted their brains. They used their intellect rather than their physical appearance or coordination. These people served as a spring board for the hippies in the mid sixties.
I had a chance to experience two cars from the fifties and was told about another. In my dads auto body shop he had a DeSota. I took pictures on my computer camera and saved them to a disk for your viewing pleasure. The DeSota was all steal and chrome. I even hurt my hand knocking on the dashboard. The steering wheel was the size of a large pizza, and my dad told me that they never even heard of power steering at that point.
The car was stick shift and the stick was where the turning signals are. There were also only three gears to put your car into. I opened up the hood and to my surprise it looked empty. The motor was a very strange rectangular box, and there appeared to be nothing else under the hood. The seats were bench, and everything inside was very classy. AM radio was the only option for any input as far as entertainment is concerned. The other car I looked at was a redone Woody. This car was completely made out of wood. It looked almost like a pathfinder type of car from the fifties. This automobile was used mostly on the west coast by the surfers who would strap on their very heavy longboards and jet down to the beach. I was told by the owner of the Woody that there are not many of these cars still around today because termites like to eat away at the wood, and strip the whole car. The other car that my dad told me about was a Lark. He said that my grandfather used to own one and that it was not much different from DeSota as far as style and material that were used. Comparing these cars to the modern day cars, I would have to say that people probably spent a lot less money repairing the appearance of their cars because they do not look like they dent too easily. They compare best to a modern day tank.
The information that I gathered on family and school life was plenty. For one thing children had to get dressed...