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Elvis Presleys Influence on Society

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The 1950s can be described as a turning point for the US Society. Several changes took place, which all cannot be described for the better. There are four main points which summarise these; the thriving economy, the technological advances, culture change and music. During this sensitive period in history, the US had just come out of the Great Depression. There was fear of another depression as it continued during the post war years. The population was of about 151,684,000 people. The average salary for a person working in the US at this point was about $2,992 per year. The gross national product (GNP) jumped dramatically between 1945 and 1970, while per capita personal income also rose. Almost sixty percent of all families in the country were now part of the middle class, a dramatic change from the class structure in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. The US owned two-thirds of the world's economy. Arguably, at this moment in time, the US was the most powerful and influencing country in the whole world. The society was described as 'affluent' as the population had more money to spend on consumer goods, rather than on other requirements, such as in hospitals or schools. ...read more.


Coming out of the Great Depression, the US Society needed something to keep their head away from previous problems. Additionally, television manipulated new trends, cultures and styles which were beneficial as people liked them. Furthermore, realistic, life relating programmes were on; people enjoyed watching something that related to them. There were however other programmes that portrayed ideal American families. These reinforced traditional values and ethics. A prime example is the soap opera, The Nelsons. The Nelsons was a long running soap opera about a typical middle class family. The father had a respectable job with enough money for the family to live comfortably. The wife stayed as a 'housewife' looking after the two children. There were no family problems, fights or arguments. It was the ideal American family. It was liked by many as they tried to live to similar standards. Yet despised by a few as the family was fictitious and no family could be as perfect as them. In addition, it was their source of entertainment and kept the people in the US busy. In some cases, TV entertainers were preferred rather than actors. The Jack Benny Show and The Colgate Comedy hour are only a few. ...read more.


Rock and Roll is a fusion of several different music styles; Blues, Hillbilly, Cajun, Gospel and Boogie- Woogie. Many people in the early 1950s took pleasure in Rock and Roll; therefore, music was another popular culture in the 1950s. 'Society has been shaped by music as much as they have been changed by language'. This is a piece of text out of a musical historian, Shepard, from a textbook. He is trying to let the reader know that music is just as influencing as language in the change of a society. Therefore, music played a huge part in the popular culture of the US in the early 1950s. In conclusion, there are four main factors that popular culture in the early 1950s America consisted of. The one in my point of view that was most influencing was music. This is because music dramatically changed in the 1950s, in contrast to previous decades. The more the society listened to music, the more the society changed, be that for the better or worse. Even though every factor had its own affect; music had one of the highest. Overall, popular culture in the early 1950s America was a turning point for US Society. GCSE History Coursework Mr. Buchanan Abdul Khan Page 1 of 3 Word Count: 1, 224 ...read more.

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