America in the 50s Essay

This essay has a total of 778 words and 4 pages.


America in the 50s




Society in America during the 1950’s was one that portrayed men and women in very
different, but rigid roles. Women were housewives, secretaries, and mothers. Men were
providers, war heroes, and businessmen. Television, newspapers and magazines played an
important role as well in determining ways men and women should behave. Advertisements for
real estate were designed to sell to the “All-American” family. For example; Dad would be
the returned home veteran who is now running the company, Mom is an ideal housewife who
works a couple days a week for extra vacation cash, little Billy likes baseball and his
sister Susie plays with dolls. Houses designed with this type of family in mind would
prove very effective in luring away many from the city to live in suburbs like this at a
rapid pace. Most jobs in the work place were gender divided. Help-wanted ads placed in
newspapers in the 1950’s were very gender biased as well. Some ads with attention getting
headlines could have read: “Sales Girl,” and “Brides! Housewives!” Occupations offered to
women at this time were very limiting.

Veterans coming home in the fifties would find that everywhere they turned something was
being marketed with them in mind. Automobile makers and home developers capitalized on the
idea of the “American life” and how appealing it was to so many soldiers. One subdivision
in particular named, “Green Acres,” was especially glamorized, and was advertised in such
a way that any red blooded American would love to raise a family there. Extra rooms, large
yards, and room in basements for play areas made these houses ideal for beginning
families. “Green Acres” came off as luxurious and large, but affordable to the average
middle-class family. The subdivision’s strategic planning put it accessible to the
amenities of the city, but also near highways, parks, schools, and most importantly
churches. A perfect home for a perfect “All-American” family. Another attractive feature
that “Green Acres” was able to offer were low cost loans that were only available to
veterans and their families. This neighborhood was designed as a community for
middle-class families, who could live a solid, humble, happy life around other families
that wanted the same. It was affordable for the average American family to purchase a home
in this subdivision.

Automobile manufacturers during this time also used the same campaign as many advertisers
did. They put phrases like “coming home” and “it’s going to be all right” in their ads to
lure veterans coming home. Some companies played on the fact that they were creating jobs
for Americans. Therefore the automobile makers were keeping America’s economy strong and
prosperous. By purchasing your vehicle through a company that provides Americans with jobs
and opportunities, you were doing your part to keep America’s economy going strong. The
advertising was designed to put a sense of patriotism in veterans returning home as well
as the average consumer.

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