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describe popular culture in britain in the 1960's

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Describe popular culture in Britain at the beginning of the 1960's Popular culture in the early 1960s was very different to life in the 1950's, but many factors of the 1950s such as music, fashion, the media and changes in society greatly influenced the change of culture in the 60's. During the 1950s Britain was still recovering from an economic hardship, often referred to as "The age of Austerity", which had been caused by the Second World War. However, nearing the end of the decade, things were starting to change rapidly as taxes dropped while the rate of employment steadily rose meaning more of the people of Britain had money in their pockets, this was particularly convenient for teenagers as they had no responsibilities such as bills to pay therefore benefited the most out of this newfound wealth. By 1959, the average weekly wage had risen from �6.40 to almost double at �11.12. As money and the employment rate grew, so did the countries prosperity. This extra money meant that ordinary people could easily buy things that they would have previously considered luxuries such as cars, TV's and other household appliances. ...read more.


Quant was famed for her work on pop art in fashion, and had great influence on skirts getting shorter since about 1958 - a development she considered to be practical and liberating, allowing women the ability to run for a bus. For the first time in history, young woman were no longer trying to look like their mother's. The miniskirt, for which quant is arguably most famous, became one of the defining fashions of the 1960s. There is much controversy about whether or not Quant came up with the original idea of the miniskirt, but she was definetely seen as the designer of the sixties, and to model her simple but beautiful clothes, twiggy and Jean shrimpton were perfect for the job, with twiggy's "girl next door" look and jean's (also known as "the shrimp") ability to make the most basic clothes look fantastic. This was also the perfect opportunity for teenage girls to move away from what their parents wore. It was fast fashion, an instant success. Quant's successed was shortly followed by polish fashion designer Barbara Hulanicki who set up a mail order business and shop in south Kensington called "biba" in 1964. ...read more.


The Beatles, guided by manager Brian Epstein, were transformed from an indistinguishable act to the most famous pop group in history. They wore suits with no lapels, cut their hair into a pudding basin style, and unlike many British performers at the time, wrote and performed their own music - a combination of rhythm and blues, rock and roll and Tamla Motown. The Beatles began their success as a clean-cut and cheerful group, with playful lyrics such as "I want to hold your hand" and "Love me do", Not long after the Beatles came the Rolling Stones, who began similar to the Beatles, but then developed their own style. In conclusion, popular culture in the late fifties/early sixties had changed dramatically from what it was in the fifties. I believe this was mainly influenced by the youth's increased spending power and independence, as a whole new market was created in order to sell new music and fashion to them. The use of advertising was particularly successful because the age of austerity was finally ended, therefore more households could afford what they had previously considered a luxury, for example a television set. Slowly the British media accepted both changes in TV and music. Therefore television and popular music boomed. The 1960's popular culture had been born and things would never be the same again. ...read more.

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