The Cold War And Its Effects On American Society Essay

The Cold War And Its Effects On American Society Essay

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Looking back, American society in the 1950s is often viewed through a nostalgic lens, seen as an idyllic, simplistic existence in which everyone was happy. However, things are rarely as simple as they appear, especially concerning as something as multi-layered as a country’s society. No matter how it appeared on the surface, American society and culture had been and continues to be a multi-dimensional construct based partly on the outside influences and media of the time. During the Cold War, in order to protect itself against any appearance of abnormality and to create a modicum of security in the new frightening age of atomic warfare, American society adopted commercial media’s portrayal of the normal American family as the ideal, even though it strayed far from the average.
The late 1940s and the 1950s marked the start of the Cold War. The Cold War and the ensuing fear of communism left a mark on every facet of American society at the time, from the development of technology to the underlying threat of nuclear obliteration due to a foreign bomb. In 1959, the leader of the Soviet Union, Premier Nikita A. Khrushchev, and the Vice President of the United States of America, Richard M. Nixon, met at an exhibition of technological developments and inventions from the two nations. What started off as a simple joint statement given by the two politicians, quickly devolved into the two influential leaders throwing subtle barbs at each other. Their topic of their disagreements helped to identify some of the fundamental differences between capitalism and communism. Vice President Nixon made sure to point out the advancements in household utilities, emphasizing how “Americans were interested in making life easier for their women.” Premie...


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...ociety,” anyone who did not embrace society’s standards of family, for whatever reason, was to some extent ostracized within their community, to the extent that societal advisers declared that if “[the family] is [not the center of living], you [have] gone far astray. The pressure of conformity, from both society as a whole and the smaller community, caused Americans to hide their true nature and interactions with their fellow citizens, instead putting themselves forth to America as upstanding, normal citizens.
In the 1950s, a long-term survey known as the Kelly Longitudinal Study sought to gain information on the lives of married couples and how the views of husbands and wives differed on marriage. Data from the survey showed that while many couples of the time spoke to counselors or other professionals, few considered themselves to have “severe marital problems,”

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