Fashions, gender roles and social views of the 1950s and 1960s

Fashion

Fashion in the 1950s was a reflection of what the people feared. It also symbolized their aspirations. It was only after the 50s when the young boys and girls began adopting fashions of their own design. In some countries, governments used some clothing as tools to control some ideologies.

This included the USSR. In order to maintain proper attitudes, there was need to maintain conservative clothing. This applied for the workers, students and others. In some places, jeans were outlawed. Women’s fashion, in this decade, symbolized fragile femininity. The men’s clothing, on the other hand, were conservative and clean cut (Rantisi 101).

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The 1960s marked the highest level of consciousness in terms of fashion. Fashion was highly valued and this can be seen in the way the clothes worn by the wives of the presidential candidates in America hit the headlines. This period emphasized on shorter coats. In America, the silhouettes had low waists.

There was also the reintroduction of the princesse shape, which was present in the 1950s. However, this was accompanied without indentation on the waistline. The over-blouse was also fashionable during this period. Other parts of the world emphasized on the designing of sharp-pointed hats and wide collars. In Europe, the skirts of this period were shorter than usual.

Gender roles

In the 1950s, the role of housekeeping and raising the family was meant to be for the women. However, it was less rigid than before. The man was the sole breadwinner in the family and he went out to work. His main role was to provide for the family. The woman, on the other hand, stayed at home and performed the house duties.

These activities included cooking and caring for the children. The woman was not expected to work even though she was learned. However, the women had started to take up some jobs in the factories in order to increase workforce.

In the 1960s, the man was still the breadwinner at home. The man was still expected to go to work in order to provide for the family back at home. The woman also continued performing duties similar to those of women in the 1950s. They stayed at home, cared for the children and performed the house duties.

However, this period marked a time for change for the women (Moen, Erickson, and Dempster-McClain 288). This is when the roles of women in the American society changed dramatically. This is when the largest number of women joined the workforce where they received pay. As the women increased in numbers at the workplace, they exerted more pressure on the management in order to address the forms of discrimination in terms of pay and promotions.

Social views

Social views include divorce issues. During the 1950s, divorce was not a common thing. This was due to the pressure from the society. The society expected those who were married to remain married. Another issue in the 1950s was in employment. Women could not get decent jobs during that period. This posed a great challenge to mothers who had to take care of their children (Halttunen and Belgrad 63).

The 1960s saw the increase in the cases of divorce. It changed from being a rare phenomenon to become a routine. This issue deteriorated and the numbers were ever increasing. No one anticipated the current situation concerning the issue of divorce. Employment of women increased in the 1960s and this saw the role of women change. They were also expected to provide for the family.

Works Cited

Halttunen, Karen, and Daniel Belgrad. American Social & Cultural History. New York: Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2008. Print.

Moen, Phyllis, MaryAnn Erickson, and Donna Dempster-McClain. “Their mother’s daughters: The intergenerational transmission of gender attitudes in a world of changing roles.” Journal of Marriage and Family 59.2 (1997): 281-293. Print.

Rantisi, Norma. “The ascendance of New York fashion.” General & Introductory Urban Studies 28.1 (2004): 86-106. Print.

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