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Affluent Society Of The 50's And The Effect On The Youth Of The Nation.

674 words - 3 pages

Following the Great War, the American people moved into a culture of consumerism where conspicuous consumption shined as an example of the desires in the hearts of the public to fulfill for the first time more than their needs but also their wants. Consumers filled their homes with belongings that were not affordable or even advisable for them to have just for the sake of them owning said possessions. This rise of consumption in the 20's was followed by the fall of the 30's in the Great Depression when economics disabled the type of spending that occurred in the preceding decade. The Depression was then followed by World War II, which required a limitation of consumption for the sake of the war. When World War II had ended, there was once again a boom in the economic status of the country and also in births. As the new Cold War emerged, more opportunity for financial gain arose and parents began to purchase new belongings for their offspring to provide for them in the way that they could not be provided for during the 30's and 40's. This form of upbringing along with the continuous knowledge and danger of the Cold War created as less than desirable community of youth during the affluent 50's.In John Patrick Diggins's essay A Decade to Make One Proud, he said that, "The fifties was the first generation in modern history to know that the world could end tomorrow." Indulgence was the rule of this road to adulthood because the youth never new when the road would abruptly come to a halt. Nuclear weapons were now common in the minds of the citizens while the youth trained with "duck-and-cover" exercises to prepare for any type of assault. These young people did not loose their innocence; it was ripped from them. They were surrounded with media that preached doom from the communists across the ocean while reminiscing over the glories of destroying the German Nazis. These youth did not just play pretend; they...

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