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Uniformity and affluence. o n the surface…. The Rise of Suburbia. Levittown and a Home for Everyone. At the height of their productivity, workers were completing around 30 homes a day. The homes came with stoves, refrigerators, washers,

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uniformity and affluence

Uniformity and affluence

on the surface…

levittown and a home for everyone
Levittown and a Home for Everyone
  • At the height of their productivity, workers were completing around 30 homes a day.
  • The homes came with stoves, refrigerators, washers,
    • later in the 1950s, TVs, high-tech items previously reserved for America's upper classes.
  • people flocked to Levittown, population grew from 450 in 1946 to more than 60,000 by the late 1950s.

Returning WWII veterans were provided for by the government with the G.I. Bill of Rights, which offered "qualified" veterans job training, money for schooling, and money to buy their own homes.

Homes were constructed and sold on average for about $3,000.

the other america

Postwar years the conditions for the urban poor declined even further

To create the roads and access routes to the new developments, homes and apartment complexes were destroyed.

The other America…

Displaced residents were then moved to overcrowded, underfunded government housing projects.

preppy vs greaser
Preppy vs. Greaser
  • Men bound for college or white-collar jobs wore the Ivy League style.
    • Everyone dressed up: the suit had three buttons, often included a vest, and the trousers had unpleatedfronts and straight legs. The shirt was an oxford button-down; the tie
  • The trend as a whole had elegance, from the boys close-cropped hair to the flawlessly tied Windsor knot on a narrow tie

Greasers and the anti-conformity movement…

  • Greasers got their name from the grease or oil they used to slick back their hair.
  • Jeans, leather jackets or long-lapel jackets, and boots or converse sneakers
  • School administrators around the country attempted to ban the “hood” look. Indications were that anyone wearing this garb was a rebel and a nonconformist
other subcultures
Other subcultures…
  • The Hells Angels Motorcycle Club (HAMC) was formed in California during 1948, the name inspired by bomber pilots of World War II.
  • Bored by post-war, suburban conformity, the Hells Angels hit the road on Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
    • Harley-Davidson had military contracts during the war and therefore had a large following of veterans who had used the bikes during their service
a 1950s kind of woman
A 1950s kind of woman…
  • Throughout the 1950s, popular media portrayed smiling American women in the home wearing elegant dresses, high heels, and jewelry (pearl necklaces were especially popular), as they dusted and vacuumed. Some even wore crowns in ads portraying women as queens of domesticity.
  • http://j-walk.com/other/goodwife/images/goodwifeguide.gif
dealing with problems or not
Dealing with Problems…or not

Mental Health

  • Issues of post-traumatic stress disorder were untreated or unacknowledged
  • Misconceptions about therapy and psychologists persisted; many didn’t seek help
  • Depression and anxiety disorders were often misunderstood and ultimate undiagnosed or misdiagnosed
stigma about mental health
Stigma about Mental Health
  • “the evidence of the 1950s would indicate that…the public was ignorant about mental illness, had a very negative image of persons identified as mentally ill, and excluded them” (190).
  • “Negative attitudes were well documented. For example a study found that people were more likely to apply a broad range of negative adjectives such as “dangerous,” “dirty,” “cold,” “worthless,” “bad,” and “weak” to a person labeled as insane or neurotic” (189).

Batchelor, Bob. "Levittown and the Rise of the Suburb (Overview)." Pop Culture Universe: Icons, Idols, Ideas. ABC-CLIO, 2012. Web. 3 Sept. 2011

Kent B. Germany, New Orleans After the Promises: Poverty, Citizenship, and the Search for the Great Society. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2007.

“Public Conceptions of Mental Illness in 1950 and 1996: What Is Mental Illness and Is It to be Feared?” Ed. Jo C. Phelan, Bruce G. Link, Ann Stueve and Bernice A. Pescosolido. Journal of Health and Social Behavior , Vol. 41, No. 2 (Jun., 2000), pp. 188-207