Britain 1960s Essay

2954 words - 12 pages

1. Describe the popular culture in Britain in the beginning of the 1960’s.

Popular culture in Britain in the early 1960s appeared in many shapes and forms. It paved the way for what became known as the Swinging 60s. Fashion, music, Television and film all contributed of the change in the era. Influences from the United States were apparent and aided in the change of culture of the time.

Fashion was a new and exciting way to express the time. Top designers, such as Mary Quant were given the opportunity to produce new trends.
Mary Quant stole the show with the popular mini skirt. After the Second World War Britain took a while to recover and obvious signs of war weariness ...view middle of the document...

The pubs were starting to get more popular with the young and less popular with the older generation as Jukeboxes were introduced. This further polarized generations.
This also had a massive influence on famous artists such as Cliff Richard, the copycat of the world famous Elvis Presley. Cliff followed Elvis not only by his style, but by his music and looks. This was definitely a change from the music scene of decades before. Many other artists emerged and became just as popular, their songs being played on the Parrot radio station in Luxembourg. These musical foundations allowed future creative groups to emerge such as the Beetles and the Rolling Stones. The early 1960s provided the opportunity for original music to be written, and new musical styles to develop

Another big influence from the United States came through in the form of the movie industry, with its blockbuster hits. This was having a knock on effect on the likes of British film companies such as Ealing Studios. At its peek in the 1950s, Ealing was producing top comedies which were very popular among movie goers. However, the early 1960s saw a change in taste, and the appeal of Hollywood hits was too much to ignore. From across the Atlantic came big budget movies which were to hit Britain’s movie theatres. Movie icons were young American idols such as James Dean and Marlon Brando became stars of the silver screen in movies such as Rebel without a cause and The Wild One. They were seen as young rebels “living life on the edge” and many admired their take on life. It was clear to see that the American film industry became a fundamental part of British film culture and shaped the direction it went in the early 1960’s.

A new form of entertainment emerged in the shape of Television. Considering that they were cheaper to purchase, many homes had acquired their own television sets, and now they had the choice of two channels. Shows such as Soap Opera, Coronation Street brought entertainment to families because there was a limited choice of programmes so they all got massive audiences. Young and old were watching the same programmes. Quiz shows such as Double your Money were also popular, although prizes were limited. These new movie images in the shape of movies and television programmes became a crucial part in the early 1960s and for decades to come.

NHS was introduced, this encouraged feelings that Britain was developing into a more egalitarian society. There were also more signs of optimism due to the festival of Britain and the coronation of the Queen in 1953. It gave a feeling of a ‘dawn of new age.

An improvement in living standards mainly due to the economic conditions came about. Austerity was becoming declined and being replaced by up and coming feelings of affluence. The younger generation began to have more disposable income; this led to feelings of more freedom and confidence. Hire Purchase supported this feeling of affluence and freedom. This...

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