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The Social Events of the 1950's, 60's, 70's, 80's, and 90's


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The Social Events of the 1950's, 60's, 70's, 80's, and 90s


Over the past 50 years, there have been many changes within the social movement in the United States. Some of these changes have been for the better and some not so great. These changes were made with the hopes and dreams of making life better for all cultures, species, families, and environment. Now the question is, how did these change come about, and what were these changes about? Social Life of the 1950's

In the early 1950's was a new beginning for the United States. With the end of the Great Depression and World War II, people felt that they could start living, and have things they thought they would never have, like a home, cars, a wife or husband, and children. With the new beginning, families started moving from large city life to the suburbs, for the reason that life in the suburbs was considerable less hectic and peaceful than what city life was like. Due to the Great Depression, many men and women put off getting married or starting families for the reason of lack of money or homes, and with the War, many were afraid they might not come home. However, with the new feeling of security and peace couples were able start the family they always wanted and so began the Baby Boom years. People moving to the suburbs triggered a trend of shopping centers within the suburbs, as well as movie theaters, bowling allies, fast food drive-ins, motels, and an interstate highway. Even though millions of people were moving to the suburbs, African-American and Latino families stayed in the cities. The move to the suburb also made jobs scarce within the city as business moved to the suburbs, and this caused the unemployment rate to go higher by at least 40%. Before 1957, African-American's could not buy homes in the suburbs, until a man named William Myers. Mr. Myers, in 1957 was able to buy his first home in the suburbs of Levittown, Pennsylvania, and he bought his home from a white family, as developers in the suburbs would not sell homes to African-Americans until the 1960's.

Social Changes of the 1960's In the late 1950's and early 1960's, thing began to make a change for the African- American citizens. The Civil Rights movement started as a move to improve the life and well-being of all African-Americans citizens. For year's African-American children had to ride buses to their school outside of town, when just down the street from where the children lived was a school however, this school only accepted white children. In 1951, Brown v Board of Education was a trial about segregation of African-American children and white schools, and this started the end to Racial Segregation, as it was considered unconstitutional. In 1955, an elder African-American woman named Ms. Rosa Parks was not willing to give up her seat on a city bus to a white man, and because of this, Ms. Parks was arrested and fined for not following the law that governed all Africa-American people. Ms Parks stand against discrimination is what gave encouragement to other African-American citizens to take a stand, starting with the boycott of all city buses by African-Americans citizens. In 1957, there was a great African-American man whose name was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and two other men with him started the Southern Christian Leadership Conference organization, (SCLC). This organization was a major force in the Civil Rights Movement and Mr. King Jr. wanted the movement to be civilized and non-violent. Dr. Kings Jr. words (Brunner & Haney (2007)) to all African-American citizens was, "We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline." In 1960, four young African-American college students decide to do a non-violent protest by sitting at a lunch counter in a Woolworth store, and this nonviolent protest was the start of what is known today as the a sit-in protest across the country, from lunch counters, parks, libraries, swimming pools, theaters, and many other types of public facilities. Over the next few years, there were numerous public speeches and marches lead by Dr. King Jr., and in 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, and in 1965, the Voting Rights Act was passed, giving African-Americans the right to vote. Then in 1968, President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act again, and this was meant to stop all discrimination of financing, selling, or renting homes to any African-Americans citizens. In addition to the Civil Right Movement in the middle 1960s, there was another type of movement starting, and this movement was with the white youths, between the ages of 15 to 25. This movement by the white youth was called the counterculture, or better known as the Hippie era. The hippie era was about the youth fighting against society's beliefs, demands and standards, as well as against nuclear weapons and the Vietnam War. The hippie's movement was about the youth exploring new things, such as freedom with sex, drugs (LSD, marijuana), interracial marriages, and music (Woodstock). Social Movement of the 1970's

The hippie era began to wind down in the first part of the 70's, and totally faded out by the mid 70's, as the youth interests changed (disco, punk, heavy metal), as well as their ideas, styles and needs. The young continued to change the accepted values of family tradition, marriage or being monogamous in a marriage, or having a family. Youth also continued to challenge the authority of government. While the 60's and 70's Civil Rights Movement was starting to slow down, and this was due to the lost of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Senator Bobby Kennedy, the feminist revolution was finely getting some attention, and this revolution was the Women's Liberation Movement. The 1970's was to be seen as the "women's turn" and this meant to have equal rights in wages, jobs, politics, education, and in their own homes. Women worked in the 60's to help sustain the family during hard times. During that time, women would only make about 63 percent of the wages that a man was paid and women wanted to be considered equal to a man if she was doing the same work as the man. Women also wanted the right to make their own decisions on whether they wanted to be a stay at home mom, a businesswoman, or both. Women, at that time was constantly being told they could not have both a family and a career, and the women of the 70's were determined to show that they could do and have both. The women movement was successful for the most part, but there were still a few hurtles that had to be jumped. One of those hurtles was amending the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the United States Constitution and the failure at closing the wage gap between men and women. The women movement ended in 1982, due to the failure of being able to change the Equal Rights Amendment and the minds of the conservative leaders in Washington, D.C. The women of America made another stand in the early 1990's. The purpose of stand had to do with problems women where having on the jobs. Some of the problems consisted of sexual harassment and violence against women. With this movement, there seemed to be more of an awareness of the issues for women, and with the awareness brought around changes in the political offices, especially within the United States Senate. The Social Movement of the 80's

The 80's society was still working through the Civil Rights Movement, the lingering effect of the hippie era, and the women's liberation movement, when the Gay Liberation Movement was getting louder. The gay movement had been trying to get a voice since the late 60's and 70's. However, in the 1980's they were finally able to make their voices heard. The movement was all about the lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender social movement, and that meant they wanted social equality and to not been seen as a minority. By mid 1980's, the Gay Liberation Movement had a setback due to the illness of AIDS and the conservative Christian Groups however; this did not discourage the gay movement. In 1987 and 1993, the Gay Liberation Movement took part in huge march in Washington, D.C. These marches were about drawing attention and raising their voices in protest against the government and its support toward discrimination against the gays and lesbians, and their right to equal opportunity of health care, housing, parental rights, employment, health insurance, and adoption of children, and to this day, the gay movement is still struggling for their rights. Family life in the 1980's was quite a bit smaller than in the 50's and 60's. Women of the 80's were not having as many babies as in the past and there were also single mothers, and many women decided they wanted a career for themselves instead of having a family. Divorces were on the rise, and living together was preferred. The 1980's youth and young adults were growing into an all about oneself, and this meant that they did not consider anyone but themselves, a me, me, me generation.

The social movement of the 90's

The 90's were becoming known as the stepfamily generation. There were more divorced and remarried men and women than there were traditional families. With the change of family life, children were having a hard time adjusting, and this was causing struggles and failures for the children in school, as well as in the home. Many children were dropping out of school and running away from home for the reason of finding what they could not find at home. The 90's were in addition, the real beginning of the Environmental Movement. People really began to take notice of the damage being done to the earth. The environmentalist began by pleading for sustainable management of earth's resources and for protection of earth's natural environment. One way the Environmental Movement wanted this accomplished was by way of change of public policies, and changing the collective behavior of people. The environmentalists were trying to get people on board in the protection of the ecosystem, and so the movement began centering itself on ecology, human health, and the rights of humanity. With this outlook, they were hoping to catch people attention, and they did with the younger generation. The Environmental Movement enclosed a wide-ranging of depression areas, such as the consumption of the ecosystems and the earth's natural resources into dumping waste, air pollution, water pollution, and toxins into the land, and then there is the waste of earth's nature environment, such as the fish in the ocean, wild life, logging, and more. In 1990's manufacturers and retailers saturated, the public with their new go green logo and people responded. The environmentalist on and off have hit some roadblocks due to government, but have always been able to recover and keep working hard for the protection of Mother Earth.

Conclusion In conclusion, every decade has had a different, but not so different type of social movement. In the next 10 years the United States will still be fighting for the protection of the environment, families will continue to disintegrate, and children will continue to fall through the cracks. There will no longer be a need for a Civil Rights Movement, as the African-American people have finally been able to settle into society and treated as citizens, in most states. Women have found their place in business and government and they are moving up in the world, but at what cost to their children, and family.

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