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Teens in the 1950s

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Yasamin Sadeghi

on 19 March 2014

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Transcript of Teens in the 1950s

Teens in the 1950s
By Anya , Yasi, and Jackie
Causes
The term "teenager" was coined to describe the age group of Americans who were not children anymore, but not yet adults.

This development was influenced by..
Music
Adults disapproved of the teens' music choices.
Music encouraged sex, drugs, and alcohol.
Teens wanted to listen to the gyrating, legendary Elvis and songs like "Mack the Knife."
Rock 'n' roll was the teens' form of escape.
This type of music further increased the gap between parents and their children.
Fashion
Teenage girls wore bright dresses that hugged the waist, and poodle skirts which were very trendy
For teenage boys, the "greaser" look was in. They adopted styles of gangs (leather jackets, slicked back, ducktail hair styles).
Art
Teens were the driving force behind fashion.
Rock 'n' Roll look
Greasers in the 1950s.
Are any of you girls interested?

Dance!
Shift from dance bands to concerts in night clubs.
Popular teen dances were swing-based.
Bob Fosse was making a name for himself choreographing for musicals
The Jerk, the Pony, the Mashed Potato, the Funky Chicken, and the Hand Jive were common dance moves, which later led to the Frug
Sock Hops were held at schools
Pastimes
Teenage life changed drastically in the 50s.
Booming economy contributed to change.
Began receiving allowances and had free time after school to hang out with friends.
Listened and danced to music, especially rock 'n' roll.
Attended sock hops.
Watched television.
Ate at fast food restaurants and frequented drive-in movies, often on dates.
Cruised the highways.
Dating became very popular.
Jackson Pollock's One: Number 31, 1950
Date: 1950
Medium: Oil and enamel paint on canvas
Dimensions: 8' 10" x 17' 5 5/8"


With the apparent rebellion of teenagers taking place, however, extensive coverage by the mass media made the idea of youth gangs sound like a new occurrence.
Newspapers often reported fights among gang members, vandalism, car theft, and general violence.
Youth gangs found primarily in poor urban areas.
"Greaser" lifestyle and behavior emphasized teenage rebellion.
Generation Gap

Many parents could afford to help their children finish high school and go to college, rather than joining the military or going straight to work.

As a result, teens often had less responsibilities than past generations. This new liberalized culture created tension between parents and teenagers, who wanted to make their own decisions.

Teens became more private, secretive, clannish, sullen, defensive, and sometimes disrespectful.
Generation gap created as teenagers' style, beliefs, pastimes, social norms, and speech patterns differed from their parents'.
Elvis Presley
Teens at a drive-in
Young love
Little Richard's hit single "Tutti Frutti"
The "Baby Boom"
The 1950 US Census shows a surge in population with ages less than 5.
The US in the 1950's
While around half of the population lived in urban areas, suburbs were growing fast.
During the post-war era, there was a surge in population growth known as the Baby Boom.

As a result, a generation gap was formed between the adults and teenagers.
Due to the thriving economy, families began moving away from big cities to the suburbs.
Soci-economic level played a role, as the African American average household income was about half of the average white household income.
Controversies
1) Civil rights movement: 1950’s was the height of the pivotal decade for the civil rights movement, influenced by iconic figures such as Rosa Parks.

2) Youth Gangs: Although youth gangs and urban violence had already existed for a while, there was a surge in media publicity targeting and criticizing the "youth rebellion".


The Generation Gap
Music
Teenagers feeling "attacked" by authority, and Marginalization



Effects...
Pop Art
Abstract Expressionism
During the 50's, more and more students were graduating high school and pursuing higher educations.
Local Connection: The Fillmore
The Fillmore in San Francisco was a dance hall where all the famous performers (James Brown, Ike & Tina Turner) would perform when touring the West Coast.

It was the preeminent Bohemian community focal point in the U.S. during the 1950’s.
In 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a bus was the spark that united people around Dr. King who in 1957 found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. The Civil Rights Act of 1957 was passed by the Congress, which created the Civil Rights Commission to ensure voting rights of African Americans in the South.
This song was quite controversial when it came out.
The "clean" version, Little Richard sings about his love interests- Sue knows just what to do and Daisy almost drives him crazy.
The original lyrics are raunchier- Little Richard sings about homosexual sex.
Raunchy lyrics were just what rebellious teenagers were interested it.
Basis for early rock 'n' roll.
Follows a basic 12-bar blues progression, with piano, saxophones, a drum kit, and a bass.
Piano played in classic boogie-woogie style and horn section draws from popular R&B tunes.
Nicholas Krushenick was an American artist who greatly influenced the Pop Art movement in America, which later peaked in the 1960s.
Although he believed his paintings to be "the opposite of pop art", art historians refer to his work as pop art because of the symbolism and icons of his paintings.
Three Flags, 1958. Encaustic on canvas.

Bibliography
Out with the old, in with the new.
Jackson Pollock's Drip paintings became popular.
Not everyone could afford these expensive paintings, so people introduced Art Mobiles.
Art Mobiles were vans that took expensive pieces to the people for viewing.
Pop art emerges in the late 50s.
Now it's your turn to show us what you've got!
Primary Source
http://diaryofa1950steenager.blogspot.com/2010/05/week-of-may-18-1952.html
Full transcript