American Society at Different Points of American History

Published: 2022-03-11
American Society at Different Points of American History
Type of paper:  Course work
Categories:  United States Society American history
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1269 words
11 min read

Evelyn Ryan's Story

Her name is Evelyn Ryan. She considers herself a typical American woman and a proud mother of 10 children. After all, the war is over and it is time to raise a new nation. Although her husband is a hardworking man, Ryan laments that he is spending too much time and money on alcohol. "As the man of house, I expected him to handle the finances while I take of the kids", she complains. "I had to do something to help my babies", she adds. Few weeks ago, the desperate mother visited her priest to air her grievances. She narrates how the priest advised her to try taking in laundry as a casual labor. For her it was a joke...a dry one. She was already doing laundry for 12 family members. "How can I handle more?" she wondered. Ryan's story is just an example of the challenges that many American women are facing in currently. Her troubles seem connected to her having many mouths to feed yet her husband is not there to assist. However, the most important part of her story is how she is determined to do anything to make sure that her children are safe, well-fed, and clothed. Her effort is an inspiration to many, especially women who face a similar fate.

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

The Good Life

The great recessions of the 1930s and the World War II that followed crippled all the aspect of the US economy. However, everything is changing for the better as everyone seems to concentrate of finding good life. During the 1950s, the United States experienced one of the best economic times. Apparently, the collective efforts to change the economic outlook of the society led to economic growth and prosperity at the family level.

Conformity and Consumption

The Second World War marked a significant turning point for the American society as far as gender role is concerned. The war created the need for women to join the labor since men were dispatched on multiple fronts. However, since the war ended, the gender role is now shifting again. While women are taking care of the family, men are tasked with bringing the paycheck. Men are back to rebuild the economy and raise families. Over the last few years, men have resumed their pre-war occupations. For instance, men have driven women out of the manufacturing and other industry, as more women are increasingly becoming fulltime homemakers. The mass media, especially the television played a major role in influencing gender roles. For instance, television dramas portrayed men as hardworking fathers who provided for their families by working in different occupations. In contrast, women were always taking care of the children and running other errands. Most importantly, showing that such an arrangement brings happiness played was very convincing. Therefore, the images played a significant role in influencing people to adopt the idea.

Car Culture

Many people agree that cars changed how Americans spent their time outside. Since the 1950, the number of families who own cars has increased from 50% to 70% in just five years. As a sign of affluence, cars are now transforming the lives of many while the interstate highways have provided the much-needed space for the culture to grow. The construction of interstate highways and the affordability of cars have given rise to a culture, where every family wants to own a car. Car ownership has become a new trend across the United States since many families can now afford a vehicle. The interesting part is how the affordability of these cars has influenced this culture. Hence, it is worth noting how the America culture could have developed if these cars were too expensive for families to own them.

However, it is now clear that the American society had taken a different path culture-wise for some reasons. Firstly, owning cars is a new trend because of the prestige that it comes with. In case these cars were too expensive for families to own them, these families would look for another affordable means to show their affluence. For instance, buying farms and homes was a possible option, since families could have directed their finances to such ventures. For instance, the support of the federal government in form of loans had allowed millions of veterans to own homes. This trend could have shaped the society since families will always go for the luxuries that are within their in terms of affordability.

Secondly, cars created an individualistic culture. The means of transport assisted in developing this culture since owning a vehicle allowed individuals to move around without public means of transport. Therefore, the absence of these cars means that more people would commute using public means such as buses. Therefore, the society would be less individualistic since the public transit encourages collectivism. For instance, renting cars would encourage extend families to commute together, especially when going for holidays. In doing so, it would be possible for such families to cut travelling cost through cost sharing. Consequently, collectivist culture would flourish and replace the individualism.

Thirdly, it is important to note how the car culture has influenced other activities such as shopping. For instance, it is now common for families to use drive-in restaurant where they can pull into a parking space and place an order. A two way speaker facilitates the transaction by allowing customers to place order. Therefore, if these cars were not there, families would subscribe to a totally different culture in terms of how they run errands. Public transit will create the necessity for one family member to go for shopping since going as a family would be inconvenient without personal cars.

Social Critics

Conformity has been the order of the day in American society since the early 1950s. Both old and young members of the American society are keen on following norms rather than forging independent culture. Apparently, the family television has been slated by critics for portraying a rich families living in comfortable homes yet the actual lifestyle of a typical American family is totally different. Family shows such as Father Knows Best depicted comfort and conformity to these social norms allowing viewers to emulate and follow a common social path. However criticism against conformity to these social norms has been on the increase. Writers, artists, movie producers have expressed their resistance to the social norm by portraying a sense of freedom in their works.

For instance, Elvis Presley from Tennessee surprised the nation by popularizing black music in the form of rock and roll. With his unique haircut and rock and roll music contributed significantly to an integrated culture by demonstrating the presence of a white audience that was interested in the music that was originally associate with Black Americans. In 1952, a writer named Ralph Ellison wrote an article titled Invisible Man. As a Black American, he complained that he was invincible just because the society had refused to see him. Another memorable piece of work that portrayed nonconformity to the popular culture was a novel titled On the Road by Jack Kerouac. The novel portrays dissatisfied youths who break away a commonly subscribed culture and forge their own path to fulfill their basic needs and desires without minding what the society thinks. On screen, a film titled Rebel without a Cause portrayed emotionally confused teenagers creating conflict and differences between generations. The behaviors are seen as moral decay since the teenagers deviate from the commonly accepted social norms. These examples show the extent to which individuals or groups of people moved away from societal expectations by forging new lifestyles that they deemed independent and fulfilling.

Cite this page

American Society at Different Points of American History. (2022, Mar 11). Retrieved from

Request Removal

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the SpeedyPaper website, please click below to request its removal:

didn't find image

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism