- Slides: 56
THE POSTWAR BOOM THE AMERICAN DREAM IN THE 1950 S John Naisbitt
Learning Objectives: Section 2 - The American Dream in the Fifties n 1. Explain how changes in business affected workers. 2. Describe the suburban lifestyle of the 1950 s. 3. Identify causes and effects of the boom in the automobile industry. 4. Explain the increase in consumerism in the 1950 s.
SECTION 2: THE AMERICAN DREAM IN THE FIFTIES n n n After WWII ended, Americans turned their attention to their families and jobs New businesses and technology created opportunities for many By the end of the 1950 s, Americans were enjoying the highest standard of living in the world Ozzie and Harriet reflected the perfect American family
SECTION 2 The American Dream in the Fifties The Organization and the Organization Man Employment in the U. S. • By 1956, majority of Americans not in blue-collar (industrial) jobs • More in higher-paying, white-collar (office, professional) positions • Many in services, like sales, advertising, insurance, communications Conglomerates • Conglomerates—corporation that owns smaller, unrelated companies • Diversify to protect from downturns in individual industries Continued. . . NEXT
THE ORGANIZATION AND THE ORGANIZATION MAN n n n White Collar jobs expanded greatly in the 1950 s During the 1950 s, businesses expanded rapidly More and more people held “white-collar” jobs - clerical, management, or professional jobs The fields of sales, advertising, insurance and communications exploded
CONGLOMERATES EMERGE n n Conglomerates, major corporations that include a number of smaller companies in unrelated fields, emerged in the 1950 s One conglomerate, International Telephone and Telegraph (ITT), bought rental car companies and hotel chains
FRANCHISES EMERGE n n n Another strategy for business expansion was franchising A franchise is a company that offers similar services in many locations Fast food restaurants developed the first franchises in America Mc. Donald’s is one of the leading franchises in the world
SECTION 2 continued The Organization and the Organization Man Franchises • Franchise—company offers similar products, services in many places - also the right to use company name and system • Fast-food restaurants among first, most successful franchises Social Conformity • Many employees with well-paid, secure jobs lose individuality • Personality tests see if job candidates fit in company culture • Companies reward teamwork, loyalty, encourage conformity NEXT
SOCIAL CONFORMITY n n n American workers found themselves becoming standardized Called the “Organization Man, ” the modern worker struggled with a loss of individualism Businesses did not want creative thinkers, rebels or anyone that would “rock the boat”
Despite their success, some workers questioned whether pursuing the American dream exacted too high a price, as conformity replaced individuality
MAIN IDEA QUESTIONS n A – How were conglomerates and franchises alike and how were they different? n n n Both were successful business entities that grew rapidly. The conglomerate grew by diversifying; Franchises grew by opening identical stores in new locations.
THE SUBURBAN LIFESTYLE n n The American Dream complete with a white picket fence Most Americans worked in cities, but fewer and fewer of them lived there New highways and the affordability of cars and gasoline made commuting possible Of the 13 million homes built in the 1950 s, 85% were built in suburbs For many, the suburbs were the American Dream
n B – What effect did the climate in many corporations have on some workers? n Some became dissatisfied with the emphasis on conformity and the impersonal corporate atmosphere.
SECTION 2 The Suburban Lifestyle The Baby Boom • 1950 s, 85% of new homes built in suburbs • 1945– 1965 baby boom—soaring birth rate after soldiers return Advances in Medicine and Childcare • New drugs fight, prevent childhood diseases • Dr. Jonas Salk develops vaccine for poliomyelitis • Pediatrician Dr. Benjamin Spock writes popular guide for parents • Baby boom impacts economy, educational system Continued. . . NEXT
THE BABY BOOM n n n During the late 1940 s and through the early 1960 s the birthrate in the U. S. soared At its height in 1957, a baby was born in America every 7 seconds (over 4. 3 million babies in ’ 57 alone) Baby boomers represent the largest generation in the nation’s history
WHY SO MANY BABIES? n n n Why did the baby boom occur when it did? Husbands returning from war Decreasing marriage Desirability of large families Confidence in economy Advances in medicine
ADVANCES IN MEDICINE AND CHILDCARE n Advances in the treatment of childhood diseases included drugs to combat typhoid fever and polio (Jonas Salk) Dr. Salk was instrumental in the eradication of polio
DR. SPOCK ADVISES PARENTS n n Dr. Spock’s book sold 10 million copies in the 1950 s Many parents raised their children according to the guidelines of pediatrician Dr. Benjamin Spock He thought children should be allowed to express themselves and parents should never physically punish their kids
IMPACT OF BABY BOOM n n n As a result of the baby boom 10 million students entered elementary schools in the 1950 s California built a new school every 7 days in the late ’ 50 s Toy sales reached an all-time high in 1958 when $1. 25 billion in toys were sold
Fads of the Baby Boomers Hula Hoops Frozen Foods Poodle Skirts and Saddle Shoes What celebrity deaths have most affected the Baby Boomers? Panty Raids Barbie and GI Joe Dolls Bikinis John F. Kennedy Marilyn Monroe Frisbees Martin Luther King Yo-yos Ouija Boards Dune Buggies John Lennon
n C – How did the baby boom affect American life in the 1950’s? n n Creation of youth-centered culture; Increased demand for consumer goods and jobs related to rearing and educating children.
SECTION 2 continued The Suburban Lifestyle Women’s Roles • Magazines, TV, movies glorify role of homemaker, mother • Over 1/5 of suburban wives dissatisfied with their lives • 1960, 40% mothers work; limited opportunities, less pay than men Leisure in the Fifties • Shorter work week, paid vacation, labor-saving devices free up time • People have time for recreational activities, spectator sports • Book, magazine, comic book sales climb rapidly NEXT
WOMEN’S ROLES IN THE 1950 S n During the 1950 s, the role of homemaker and mother was glorified in popular magazines, movies and television
WOMEN AT WORK n n Those women who did work were finding job opportunities limited to fields such as nursing, teaching and office support Women earned far less than man for comparable jobs
n D – How did women’s roles and opportunities in the 1950’s differ from women’s roles today? n Most 1950’s women were homemakers and had fewer education and career opportunities than women have today.
LEISURE IN THE 1950 s n n n Americans experienced shorter work weeks and more vacation time than ever before Leisure time activities became a multi-billion dollar industry Labor-saving devices added more spare time Labor-saving devices provided more leisure time for Americans
POPULAR LEISURE ACTIVITES n n Bowling remains one of the top leisure activities in the U. S. n In 1953 alone Americans spent $30 billion on leisure Popular activities included fishing, bowling, hunting and golf Americans attended, or watched on T. V. , football, baseball and basketball games
THE AUTOMOBILE CULTURE n n After the rationing of WWII, inexpensive and plentiful fuel and easy credit led many to buy cars By 1960, over 60 million Americans owned autos
n E – Why did auto sales surge in the 1950’s? n n Cars were necessary for life in the suburbs, Americans loved cars, and the positive economic factors allowed for Americans to buy cars.
SECTION 2 The Automobile Culture Automania • Cheap, plentiful gas, easy credit, advertising increase car sales • No public transit in suburbs; cars necessary The Interstate Highway System • Local, state roads link cities, suburbs to schools, shops, work • Interstate Highway Act—nationwide highway network unites country • Highways enable long-haul trucking, new towns, family vacations • Towns near highways prosper; those near older, smaller roads decline Continued. . . NEXT
INTERSTATE HIGHWAY ACT 1956 n In 1956 Ike authorized a nationwide highway network – 41, 000 miles of road linking America
THE INTERSTATE HIGHWAY SYSTEM n “Automania” spurred the construction of roads linking major cities while connecting schools, shopping centers and workplaces to residential suburbs
SECTION 2 continued The Automobile Culture Mobility Takes Its Toll • Auto boom stimulates new businesses— e. g. drive-in movies • Cars create social, environmental problems— e. g. accidents, pollution • Upper-, middle-class whites leave cities; jobs, businesses follow • Economic gulf widens between suburban and urban - also widens gap between middle class and the poor NEXT
IMPACT OF THE HIGHWAY n n n Trucking is the #1 means of moving cargo in the United States today The Interstate Highway system resulted in: More trucking Less railroad More suburbs, further away
HIGHWAYS “HOMOGENIZE” AMERICA n n n Another effect of the highway system was that the scenery of America began to look the same Restaurants, motels, highway billboards, gas stations, etc. all began to look similar The nation had become “homogenized” Anytown, USA
“Our new roads, with their ancillaries, the motels, filling stations, and restaurants advertising eats, have made it possible for you to drive from Brooklyn to Los Angeles without a change of diet, scenery, or culture. ” John Keats, The Insolent Chariots 1958
DOWNSIDE TO MOBILITY n n n n While the car industry boom stimulated production, jobs, shopping centers, and the restaurant industry, it also had negative effects Noise Pollution Accidents Traffic Jams Stress Decline of public transportation
n F – What positive and negative effects did the mass availability of the automobile have on American life in the 1950’s? n n Positive – growth of suburbs, increased mobility. Negative – Pollution, deterioration of public transportation
SECTION 2 Consumerism Unbound New Products • 60% of Americans in middle class; twice as many as before WW II • Consumerism (buying material goods) equated with success • Numerous new products appear on market in response to demand Planned Obsolescence • Planned obsolescence—making products that get outdated, wear out - makes consumers buy or want to buy new ones Continued. . . NEXT
RISE OF CONSUMERISM n n By the mid-1950 s, nearly 60% of Americans were members of the middle class Consumerism (buying material goods) came to be equated with success and status
n n GMC: Greatest Made Chevy
n n n n n CHEVROLET: Can Hear Every Valve Rattle On Long Extended Trips
n n n n n CHRYSLER: Company Has Recommended You Start Learning Engine Repair
n n n DODGE: Drips – Oil, - Drops - Grease - Everywhere Dad's - Old - Dead - Garage - Experiment
n n n FORD: Fix- Or- Repair- Daily; Fast- Only- Rolling- Downhill; Found- On- Road- Dead Funding- Our- Retirement- Daily (from a mechanic's point of view);
n G – How manufacturers influence Americans to become a throwaway society? n They designed products to break down, wear out, and go out of style.
SECTION 2 continued Consumerism Unbound Buy Now, Pay Later • Credit purchases, credit cards, installments extend payment period • Private debt grows; consumers confident of future prosperity The Advertising Age • Most people have satisfied basic needs; ads encourage extra spending • Psychological appeals in ads lure consumers to particular products • Ads appear in all media; television emerges as powerful new tool NEXT
NEW PRODUCTS n n One new product after another appeared in the marketplace Appliances, electronics, and other household goods were especially popular The first credit card (Diner’s Club) appeared in 1950 and American Express was introduced in 1958 Personal debt increased nearly 3 x in the 1950 s
THE ADVERTISING AGE n n n The advertising industry capitalized on runaway consumerism by encouraging more spending Ads were everywhere Ad agencies increased their spending 50% during the 1950 s Advertising is everywhere today in America
GUIDED READI NG TRENDS 1. Business: EFFECTS Standardized what people ate; offered economic advancement to people who would conform; offered job security to more Americans; contributed to the baby boom and suburbanization; offered consumers more choices
GUIDED READI NG TRENDS EFFECTS 2. Suburban: Offered people the chance to live the American dream; caused many Americans, especially women, to feel dissatisfied with their lives; contributed to the popularity of the automobile; led to the decline of cities; created racial and economic gulfs between suburban and city dwellers
GUIDED READI NG TRENDS EFFECTS 3. Created the largest generation in U. S. Population: history; contributed to suburbanization and business expansion; led to widespread overcrowding in schools and a teacher shortage; led to a boom in activities geared toward youth
GUIDED READI NG TRENDS 4. Leisure: EFFECTS Contributed to business expansion in leisure fields; gave people time to engage in a wide variety of recreational pursuits; helped to increase sales of book and magazines
GUIDED READI NG TRENDS 5. Automobile: EFFECTS Spurred the building of roads and interstate highways; encouraged suburbanization and urban decline; helped the trucking industry to take business from the railroads; helped to unify and homogenize the nation; offered Americans more possibilities for leisure activities; stimulated other industries; created noise and air pollution; led to more traffic jams and accidents
GUIDED READI NG TRENDS 6. Consumerism: EFFECTS Helped to popularize the equating of material goods with success; contributed to the expansion of business; encouraged manufacturers to produce a wider variety of goods; encouraged planned obsolescence and the "throwaway society"; caused an increase in private debt; led to a boom in the advertising industry