The Affluent Society. 1950s…. What comes to mind when you think of the 1950s? . The 1950’s Society. Shifts in the Post-War Society. Average American income 3x “Blue-collar” jobs “White-collar” jobs Multinational corps & franchises
1950s… • What comes to mind when you think of the 1950s?
Shifts in the Post-War Society • Average American income 3x • “Blue-collar” jobs “White-collar” jobs • Multinational corps & franchises • Mc’dees had 8 franchises by the early 1950s • New Consumerism
THE BABY BOOM!!! • Years 1945-1961: • 65 million babies • 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
Suburbia: Levittown • Developer William Levitt addressed the demand for houses caused by the Baby Boom • Created Levittown in NY • 100 mass-produced homes in a potato field 10 miles East of NYC • 1947 1951: Thousands of families rushed to buy one
1950s Family • The Baby Boom • White flight -- Suburbs • A return to traditional family roles • Men were expected to work, while women were expected to stay home and care for the children • Conflict emerged as some women wanted to stay in the workforce
Women settled back into “traditional” roles • “Let’s face it girls, that wonderful guy in your house—and in mine—is building your house, your happiness and the opportunities that will come to your children.” • “Set your sights on a happy home, a host of friends and a bright future through the success of HIS job.” • -BH&G Magazine, 1955
LEISURE IN THE 1950s • 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 • 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 Bowling remains one of the top leisure activities in the U.S.