As a reaction to the Soviet Union’s increasing influence, parts of American society became extremely similar. Some people even argued that the nation was becoming homogenous. Americans watched the same TV shows, worked for the same companies, bought similar apartments and products, and had identical lives overall. However, the thorough study of the 1950s America proves that the society was, in fact, diverse. This essay determines what factors led researchers to think that the American nation became homogenous and proves that this society was indeed the opposite.
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One of the main reasons for glaring similarities between citizens was the influence of the Soviets. People tried to avoid being accused of supposed communist views, so they tried to make their appearance conform to according to America’s standards. Also, the working class’s well-being was improved to deter the workers from following the USSR example. However, racial differences persisted and had an immense impact on the society, experienced by both Latinos and African Americans.
In conclusion, the US society in the middle of the 20th century adapted to the circumstances they had to face. Because of the Soviet Union’s influence, Americans wanted to portray their loyalty to their country, so they had a similar appearance, believed in God, shared the same values, and the boundaries between working and middle classes became blurred. However, racial differences, internal migration, and diversity in culture prevented society from being homogenous.
American society was different from what it is today in several respects. First of all, it was more sexist and racist than that of today. Society of the 1950s expected women to be housekeepers and caretakers or work at a limited array of supposedly womanly jobs (Oakes et al., 2017). There was also no affirmative action and many openly segregational practices in place (Oakes et al., 2017). However, the settlement patterns with Latinos and African Americans living in poor suburbs separately from the well-to-do whites remain more or less the same today, which is a persistent similarity (Oakes et al., 2017). Thus, while today’s American society has come closer to accepting its diversity rather them homogeneity, it is also similar in some respects to that of the 1950s.
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Oakes, J., McGerr, M., Lewis, J. E., Cullather, N., Boydston, J., Summers, M., Tosnsend, C., & Dunak, K. M. (2017). Of the people: A history of the United States with sources, vol. 2: since 1865 (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press.