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How The 50's Made An Impact: Television Shows (Essay Sample)


Using the books The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, The Fifties, the film Rebel Without a Cause, The Jackie Robinson Story, The Express or television shows Leave it to Beaver, Father Knows Best, or Ozzie and Harriet to give specific examples in an essay of how events, ideas, or individuals of the 50s impacted 3 areas of American culture (art, music, literature, film, television, sports, entertainment, fashion, material culture, family life, gender roles, minority culture groups, etc.) during the decade.






How The 50's Made An Impact

The 1950s was a significant period in American history; the 50s was a time of economic growth and prosperity. During this period, American population grew faster, between the 1950s through to the 1960s, the baby boomers; children born after World War 2 grew up to become teenagers and adults. This group had a tremendous effect on popular culture because of their larger number. Television was one of the popular cultures, television shows revolved around the standard American life which depicted predominantly white middle-class families living within the suburban neighborhood.

With the popularity of television growing, television sitcom became a cultural force; popular Sitcoms offered an idealized view of middle-class American life. Leave it to Beaver was the first sitcom that presented realities from a child’s perspective and parenting experienced by American families (Chalaby 174). Leave it to Beaver not only changed the way American families viewed entertainment, it also reinforced family values and conformity to societal norms.

Television dominated the lives of many Americans in 1950, families switched from radio to television for entertainment. With 3.1million television sets within American homes and more than 100 television stations operating across several states America, television was considered the best source of family entertainment (Von Hodenberg 61). Television offered much more to families, it was cheaper and fitted well into American homes. Additionally, television was convenient and comfortable leisure activity for families. This explains why popular sitcoms became a significant part of television more so, The Beaver family in mid-1950s significantly influenced families. The show entertained families, attracting huge audiences because of its realistic themes (Von Hodenberg 78).

The decade of the 1950s is referred to as the golden age of television because television caught people's imagination. Television was the first audiovisual device that changed how America viewed entertainment (Chalaby 125). Television enabled families to watch events that resonate with them; television broadcasts brought realities in vivid detail into people living rooms. The Beaver family provided Americans with human experience, reaching people more than radio and other print media (Von Hodenberg 233).

Leave it to Beaver was one of the popular sitcoms revolving around a boy commonly known as “The Beaver” because of his curiosity. The many adventures of Beaver including his experiences at home, in school and within the neighborhood in a small town of Mayfield. The Beaver parents June and Ward Cleaver and older brother revealed themes and plots of the life experiences of children and parenting experiences that were real (Von Hodenberg 264). 

America was recovering from World War 2, but television programs deliberately ignored focusing on politics and

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