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Culture of the 1950s Essay

Websites allow global product and services distribution through intranets, extranets and internet Websites. Both groups of designers and professional analysts concur that a well-designed user interface is an essential component that improves the appeal and operation of the Web, allowing “browsers” or “tourists” to be converted into “customers” and “residents. ” Recognizing demographic diversity and understanding the users are the two main focus of attention in the user-interface development process.

However, these differences may demonstrate worldwide cultures in a global economy. The impact of culture in web content and tools is a factor which companies that aim to engage in online international business should consider. Few important pointers should be regarded. For instance, a person has a favorite website, how might this site be understood in countries like Paris, USA, London, Japan, or India, assuming that enough verbal translation are carried out?

There might be something in a website’s metaphors, interaction, mental model or even the appearance offend or alienate a user. The date, most Culture of the 1950s is one of the controversial periods in American history marked by changes in worldviews of people and equal rights movements, new social values but old traditions dominated in the society. The World Wars had a great impact on cultural, political, social and economic life changing thinking and values of people. The post-war period of time became a watershed between ‘old’ and ‘new’ world of meaning, economy and ideas.

Thesis The 1950s represents a time of disruption because the old values were rejected by the society but new ones had not been formed and accepted yet. The first half of the XX century changed greatly views of people and their destinies. The large-scale death and destruction exacted by World War II destroyed the security that had made current history a comfortable approach to international politics. The 1950s became an edge of the social change marked the beginning of the XX century.

Such values as consumerism, trendy way of life and stylish goods were rejected by the society faced with grievances and disillusionment of war time (Fukuyama 8). Further support for the old social orientation to man’s impulses has been provided recently by a growing body of literature which seeks to document the innately violent and aggressive aspects of human behavior (Booker 34). In all these converging views of human nature, trust, intimacy, and openness are virtually self-destructive, and vulnerability and unguarded expressiveness become a positive threat.

In this area, the puritan code was most explicit and ponderous. During 1950s, Americans did not have ‘a culture of consensus’ influenced by diverse social factors and liberation movements: the social life was influenced by feminist ideas and racial question. The second wave of feminism was diverse and involved lesbian, black, liberal and social feminism movements. Sexual liberation was a factor which had a great influence on the national idea during the middle of the XX century.

Women paid particular attention to the role of sexual relations and sexual freedom in the society and their role in formation of self and universal order. Martin Luther King organized antiracial campaigns addressing a very important problem of racial inequality in America and its impact on the society. King expected that many people would “awake” from long sleeping and start fighting, because the established Constitution grants the right to the populace, and no doubt that in modern society the main role is featured to democracy and liberty.

Social differences also influenced culture and led to the disruption (Booker 24). During the previous period, the good life consisted of work, work conducted with a religious attitude, for work was dedicated to God. The new way of liberation movements promulgated ideas of equality and equal pay for men and women contracted with the old values and norms (Fukuyama 237). Old social order and worldviews were rejected but the society did not create new values and traditions to replace the old ones.

The puritan ethos in itself contained a number of crucial inconsistencies. They were exacerbated by the appearance of a set of values deriving from and entirely different source and based on an entirely contradictory set of premises about the nature of man. There were the democratic values founded on the assumption that man is innately good and trustworthy and that society is a contract among men that should enhance rather than restrain man’s humanity (Fukuyama 186).

The themes of equality, social responsibility, democracy, liberty, and fraternity confronted the already internally conflicting themes of the world view and resulted in a dizzying welter of confusion and paradox. The internally paradoxical aspects of old views, combined with new democratic values together constitute anything but the disruption. In spite of the fact that some critics see 1950s as the ‘consenual period’, Derbyshire explains that The main reason the 1950s looks so good to so many of us is that in moving from the old order to the new, we lost much of our civilizational confidence.

You may say that that confidence was misplaced, or an illusion; you may even say that it was obnoxious, and good riddance to it; and you may be right on all points” (Derbyshire cited Young & Young 29). American young people have inherited a “spurious” culture, a set of inconsistent arrangements and attitudes which have necessitated a variety of psychological and sociological stratagems aimed at disguising the basic lack of integrity and consistency in our culture.

In the novel “On the Road”, Jack Kerouac vividly portrays this process through life and expectations of the main characters, Sal and Dean. Denial, self-deception, compartmentalization are some of the stratagems employed to cope with this disturbing state of affairs (Fukuyama 76). Kerouac portrays that segment of the younger generation was attacking the value orientations deriving from our puritan heritage. Such a direct and open-eyed confrontation was precisely what was necessary before any resolution of some of the inconsistencies can be attained.

Sal says: I realized that these were all the snapshots which our children would look at someday with wonder, thinking their parents had lived smooth, well-ordered, stabilized-within-the-photo lives and got up in the morning to walk proudly on the sidewalks of life, never dreaming the raggedy madness and riot of our actual lives, our actual night, the hell of it, the senseless emptiness (Kerouac 208). It is just this resolution that the new generation were exploring in their alternative versions of “the good life”.

The new generation interpreted the success goals of their parents as extremely constricting and threatening, and they were highly sensitive to the props adults use to buttress lives that were somehow less than fulfilling. Cultural diversity (and a new wave of immigration) added social tension and heated liberation movements. Perhaps the most interesting parts of the new ethic were themes which can be seen as not traditional or indigenous, that was the genuinely “foreign” elements, which because they were new arouse the most alarm, fear, and often repressive responses on the part of adults.

The merchants of popular culture used the felicitous phrase, the “beat” generation, to refer to the group of people who celebrate the present and attempt to experience it as timelessly and intensely as possible. Being was desired for its own sake and becoming disappeared as a desired way of life (Booker 65). For instance, the novel by Jack Kerouac originated in racial fetishism and reflected vocabulary and language typical for diverse society and culture. Immigrants had an impact on literature and language using specific vocabulary and colloquialisms typical for their cultures (Nicholls 525).

Another element which must be regarded as distinctly new was the attitude toward affluence, money, and private property on the part of these young people. Traditional adult success was regarded by them as “too expensive,” that was requiring too much sacrifice of the self, and of spontaneity, freedom and integrity, and giving too little in return (Fukuyama 270). In sum, the 1950s represents a time of disruption influenced by a mixture of the old and new social values. The decline of traditional culture encour¬aged individualism which placed the self at the centre of concerns.

Increasing social diversity led to a general relativism, not just in matters of taste or morals but even in matters of fact. These values were genuinely believed, there is no doubt, on the part of the parents, but the parents’ life experiences were so different as to locate them in a different culture. Life experiences were drastically different from the secure and protected environment before the WWII. The 1950s represents the disruption influenced by persona experiences of two different generations, cultural diversity and new social order. Works Cited

1. Booker, M. K. The Post-Utopian Imagination: American Culture in the Long 1950s. Greenwood Press, 2002. 2. Fukuyama, F. The Great Disruption: Human Nature and the Reconstitution of Social Order. Free Press; 1st edition, 2000. 3. Kerouac, J. On the Road. New York: Viking, 1957. 4. Nicholls, B. The Melting Pot That Boiled Over: Racial Fetishism and the Lingua Franca of Jack Kerouac’s Fiction MFS Modern Fiction Studies, 49 (2003): 524-549. 5. Young, W. H. , Young, N. K. The 1950s (American Popular Culture Through History). Greenwood Press, 2004.


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