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1 The 1960s were a time of great change in American society characterized by ethnic consciousness and civil rights womens rights and female liberalism anti-war demonstrations student protests and the genesis of the counterculture A noted speaker once said The Cold War conformity and consumerism provided the background for the social protests movement of the 1960s The cause of the protest movements were much more deeply rooted in US institutions and history Although the protest movements of the 1960s were deeply rooted in US institutions and history of the 1950s the Cold War conformity and consumerism provided much more than a background for these movements in a way they were the reason behind them In the 1950s politicians constantly used the Cold War as a threat to the lifestyle of the American people-a conformist lifestyle dominated by consumerism in which families for the first time in history had the purchasing power of credit Families now had the power to own homes which resulted in the construction of ethnic communities and they had the ability to afford luxuries which they could never dream of before these include cars televisions and other new appliances This ideal lifestyle was championed on television sitcoms such as Leave it to Beaver and Father Knows Best and it included the above mentioned luxuries furthermore it illustrated the breakdown of the family and how it was supposed to appear The shows stressed the breadwinner and head of the family as the father the mother as the ideal housewife taking diligent care that all the housework be 2 done before her husband arrives from work and the children as well-mannered and respectful citizens upon whose problems the shows usually center In essence the shows stressed the importance of family and family life and what threatened the family-Communism Cold War-the Communist that could be living next door McCarthy and McCarthyism in essence gave the people
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