Conformity And Compliance During The 1950’s

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade December 2001

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Conformity and Compliance During the 1950's The 1950's are often labeled as an era of conformity and complacency. But how valid is this label? Could the same radical and rebellious Americans of the 1960's be submissive and compliant just one decade earlier? The answer (for the most part) is yes. The suburbanization, consumerism/materialism, second Red Scare, and "cult of domesticity"� of the 1950's exemplify this accepting and submissive attitude of Americans. However, there are some exceptions. Women talking new jobs, the civil rights movement, and the popularity of the new type of music called rock and roll showed that not everybody was going to just sit back and conform. They were going to start making changes that would really manifest themselves in the following decade.

The tremendous amount of suburbanization that occurred in the 1950's shows some of the conformity of the time. Americans in all regions (if they were white) fled from cities to new suburbs.

Government policy even encouraged this momentous move. Federal Housing Authority (FHA) and Veterans' Administration (VA) home loan guarantees made it more economically attractive to own a home in the suburbs that to rent an apartment in the city. The conformity of these homogeneous societies is further seen in suburban towns like "Levittown"�. Levittowns revolutionized the techniques of home construction. They were created by builders who erected hundreds or even thousands of dwellings in a single project. Specialized crews working for standardized plans laid foundations, while others raised factory-assembled farming modules, put on roofs, stung wires, installed plumbing, and finished the walls. Because the homes were mass-produced they all looked the same. However, this didn't seem to bother eager homebuyers who moved into them by the billions.

Conformity is further seen in the large about of consumerism/materialism and affluence present in 1950's society. Beginning...