Culture of Conformity
Sense of uniformity was prevalent during the 1950s in American Society. None in that era followed their own, and norms were alike from young to adults.
Men and women were forced into different kinds of employment patterns during the war times. They soon, however, got back to their old ways after it. It was not uncommon to think that men were the primary bread earners of the family. Women, if working, would consider it as temporary, their real place being home.
Soon the famous sociologist David Riesman keenly observed that peer pressure and expectations prevailed in this new headed group of people in the Society. He learned that these people not only brought conformity but also stability in Society.
It was seen that Television played a big role in blending the old with the new. Older people shared their experiences showcasing acceptable social patterns.
However, not all were welcoming to accept conformity. A set of people resisted conformity and made their way through it, challenging the people with dos and don’ts, high in spirit, trying to make their way.
Conformity in the 1950s
The 1950s was the age of social, cultural, and political conformities.
It was achieved in the world of business through an increase in mass production of items. This played its part in social conformity. Every American Household had the same items which standardized the American Lifestyle. They want to have luxuries increased with time in a drastic proportion after that.
Once world war II was over, women were back in their then-called “natural habitat.” Which was none other than home. Women achieved cultural conformity by influencing standardized clothing, food, and language.
After world war II ended, the citizens were in need of good leadership with decision-making skills to run the country. They found a leader in Eisenhower. Segregating black from white, suppressing minorities was a great way to show white conformity.
The book which analyzed the 1950s as a culture of conformity
The Lonely Crowd is a work of three sociologists or, as then known, social analysts. David Riesman, Nathan Glazer, and Reuel Denney gave their time to this book. It perfectly depicts 1950s conformity culture.
Riesman realized that there are three main types of cultural forms
These types of people were mostly successful. Instead of blindly following the norms set by older people, they chose to hear the voice. The voice coming from their inner self gave them direction. Ability and freedom to think gave such people much confidence in life.
Tradition-directed rules had been made by the people of the past that mostly did not coincide or worked for the modern Society.
With time, other-directed people gained popularity. By other-directed, we mean those who saw what others were doing and did the same. It included everything, from leisure activities to politics. He explained that these people were generally flexible and very accommodating in nature.