Here is Where the Mass Market of America Begins: 1950s Consumerism and the Limitations of Prosperit

Americans in the 1950s enjoyed an unprecedented level of national prosperity. The privation of the Depression and the self-denial of the war years had primed Americans to see consumerism as the embodiment of economic and personal freedoms.

Before you participate in this assignment, be sure to read the Module Notes, Chapter 26: ?The Affluent Society? in The American Yawp and watch the following videos: Our Changing Family Life, A Word to the Wives, and Housewife Prepares a Family Breakfast During 1950s.

When these films were made they had specific purposes. But even today we can watch them and learn much about the 1950s. Look closely at the people, the way they portray social interactions, what they wear, and the objects they use.

Using the videos and other materials above as evidence, consider the following in a post of at least 350 words:

  • Why do you think the films were originally made?
  • What can they tell us about gender roles and the emphasis on consumerism in the 1950s?
  • Who might have been left out of the middle-class consumer-oriented lifestyle portrayed in the films? Why?

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