This investigation will answer the question to what extent did the Cold War influence pop culture during the 1950’s and 1960’s in the United States? This question is important because it’s based during the Cold War which was a time in history that was characterized by extreme hostilities between the U.S and USSR for over forty years. Amidst this time of superpowers vying for nuclear supremacy, pop culture was a major factor that emerged during this time that impacted both societies. Pop culture, particularly, American films, had an impact on Russian society. The scope of this investigation will focus only on U.S films shown in the Soviet Union.
American way of life. The popular image of the 1920’s as a care-free, frivolous, even anarchic “Jazz age, is partly colored by the popular image of the American 1920’s when America began to exert a strong influence on British and European popular culture (Popalwski, 2008: 542-543). In fact, that was a decade when the popular culture began to take on its typically modern forms, with the rapid growth in popularity of cinema especially spreading other popular fashion, for instance, clothes, hair, speech and manners, interior decoration and music. There were hedonistic modes of ‘living for the day’, among the middle and leisured classes. However, these years clearly had their grimmer side too like the major economic depression, mass unemployment and the shock of war, which made a fertile ground for despair and disintegration among the people that T.S.
The 1920s, commonly referred to as the “Roaring Twenties”, is generally viewed as a time period of economic prosperity and extravagant living. However, these stereotypes were not the reality for many Americans and such illusions hid the deep cultural conflict that was bubbling beneath the surface. New, liberal ideals began to rise to the surfaces that conflicted with the traditional, conservative beliefs held by many Americans. The 1920s became a “cultural battlefield”, to quote Professor Mintz, with people clashing over such issues as immigration, alcohol, race, and evolution. A “cultural civil war” ensured as some supported the resulting “liberation” from America’s past, while others objected to the “decaying” morals that supposedly accompanied such changes.
The culture and the arts are one of significant resources when studying history. They often give great hints and ideas to what the actual life was like in the periods being studied. Adding to that, they are not only a form of entertainments, but also have a strong political influence. Therefore, they are reviewed and treated carefully by historians. The USSR during the 1930s is no exception even though it was under a totalitarian regime.
This surge in power and radical thought had led to a change in pace from a once rather peaceful United States since the American Civil War, and with it came the idea of cultural assimilation as foreign involvement in United States affairs had dramatically increased. Such as with soldiers coming back for foreign regions as well as nurses who had been subject to other societal norms as they had been tending soldiers from the other allied powers including much more liberal Britain, France and other European regions. With this foreign cultural involvement there has been new ideas engrained in the minds of these returning individuals such as of the red scare as well as the notion of more women’s rights, as the soldiers they had been fighting along included those of the British and Russian descent in which had either been in their infancy stages of women's rights or had
Historically, Americans rejected Asian people and culture, obstructing their assimilation into mainstream American society. Integration was never a viable choice for Chinese Americans, who were excluded and denied citizenship because they were deemed non-assimilable by the white mainstream. The treatment of larger ethnic groups towards a foreign minority has a major impact on the extent of the minority’s assimilation or isolation. In Letter to my Nephew, James Baldwin, an African American writer and social critic, shows the treatment of blacks during the mid to late twentieth century and their low expectations in society. Caucasian Americans have an inability to accept minority groups.
Literature has changed society. Shakespeare added hundreds of words to the English language through his plays and affected how humans would speak forever. The Analects by Confucius has phrases still repeated today, the most recognizable quote of being “What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others”, otherwise known as the golden rule. Without books, the world would be an entirely different place. The society in Fahrenheit 451 is a world without books because of a standard the government put in place.
This was an era of transformation and modernization in assorted fields. Mass communications such as movies, radios, newspapers, and magazines expanded across the nation and appeared in almost all households by the end of the decade. Productions from famous film studios featured the well-known stars for a time. Radio stations broadcasted the popular topics, along with advertisements and music. Newspapers and magazines updated the newest information and offered diverse articles which hooked the readers with tempting visuals and
Modern culture in the 21st century is defined by mass media. Every aspect of our culture, from entertainment to news, is conveyed through a modern platform of mass media. While we, as a society, have expressed our ideas and thoughts through these mediums, we have also been the creators of them. At some points it is easy to think that because we have created the medium that we also control the message, but often times these two interact together without direct human intervention. It is from this almost sentient expression that negative impacts, either implicitly or explicitly, heavily impact our modern, technological culture.
The American culture has a tendency to encourage individuality yet reject unique personas and ways of life that do not coincide with the already-established status quo. Contemporary societal norms have become more accepting of trends that were once considered weird, eccentric, or queer. However, in the late nineteenth century, the acceptable ways of life were more straight-laced, and society was more judgmental towards lifestyles outside the scope of “normal”. For people with uncommon attributes--who did not want to become socially isolated--conformity seemed like the answer. But, there were some individuals who did not want to put up a facade and pretend to be like everybody else.