Youth Revolution Of 1950's: 'by The Late 1950s, The Youth Of The United States Had Been Transformed' To What Extend Is This True?

1370 words - 6 pages

Teenagers of the 1950s were overwhelmed with the abundance of wealth and freedom that their parents bestowed upon them to compensate for their hardship during war time. Change enveloped the lives of teenagers and they became a new and distinctive figure in society. They became the face of rebellion in the United States and started making their way through life with independent ideas leaving behind their footprint in history. Entertainment felt the full force of this change and transformed to accommodate the modern ways of teenagers. The way they interacted with the opposite sex, their peers, friends and the way they dressed and consumed all changed significantly.By the late 1950s a huge ...view middle of the document...

Beaver played baseball while Beaver's brother, Wally was an excellent Basketball player. Although entertainment, hobbies and pastimes had undergone huge change there were still elements that remained the same. The films and shows we watched demonstrated that boys still kept stereotypical interests in things like sport and mechanics, while girls were often seen together swapping stories and gossiping. Dancing and music related activities never lost their popularity, although the manner of dancing and music taste changed extensively. The transformation that took place during the 1950s was profound. Teenagers experienced a freedom that was unfamiliar to generations before them; they sought out the attention of society, often in a destructive manner.The relationships between boys and girls also experienced significant change during this time. Before the youth revolution came about teenagers had begun to experiment with dating. This was conducted very respectfully. Boys and girls tended to enjoy their pastimes with the same sex and dating presented teenagers with an opportunity to mingle with the opposite sex. As dating became increasingly popular the expectation and etiquette became heavily emphasised by the media. Love Connections went into great detail explaining how to correctly behave on a date. Desirable characteristics were courtesy and conformity. This soon changed, as teenagers were granted new liberty and the demand to act formally decreased. Girls became attracted to the 'bad boy' image and boys developed a more casual approach to girls. Both sexes often mingled in large groups and the idea of flirting became more pronounced. Little effort was put into planning a date, whereas before this time every aspect of a date was organised prior to the outing. Public displays of affection were common in the film Wild One. In this film, boys treated girls will little respect, in one scene a team of bikies ganged up on a girl and harassed her. Very little remained the same in regard to the relationships between boys and girls. Although they continued to date and develop boyfriend and girlfriend type relationships the formality and consideration of these relationships deflated dramatically.Peers and friends began to relate differently during the 1950s. As high schooling became compulsory for all teenagers they began to become more reliant on the ideas and opinions of their peers. They separated themselves from family in order to spend time with friends. This resulted in a lack of parental advice; instead friends and peers took on this role. They grew to be dependant on their friends and their ideas were moulded by popular opinion. Peer pressure and the need for acceptance affected almost every teenager. Rebel Without a Cause revealed that once teenagers formed and alliance they became protective of their social position in the group and went to great effort to make others feel unwelcome. This can be seen when Jim begins schooling and the popular kids...

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