How would you describe the changing “American standard of living” after WWII? Can you explain our increasing prosperity? What role did government play in making this affluent suburban life possible for many Americans? How did affluence, the automobile, and the growth of the suburbs change American culture? Describe and explain the significance of Levittown. Did everyone benefit from this new life of suburban consumerism? Why not? Who was left out and why? What was new about this suburban, car-based, life of mass consumption? What role did television, advertising, and the mass media play in postwar culture? How did women’s lives and gender roles change to fit the 1950s ideals of a middle-class suburban consumer lifestyle? Were there any critics of this new suburban, corporate lifestyle based on mass consumption? What was Beat Generation’s critique of mass culture, conformity, and the suburbs? Is there a connection between the promotion of mass consumption and the politics of the Cold War and the Red Scare?
Word count 3-4 pages