Post War Teen Tuning

It is the late 1940's in the United States of America. World War II has just ended, and America has won. 

Men are coming home. Women are returning to the household and raising new families. The economy is flourishing. Everything is going back to normal.

...Or is it? 

The end of World War II meant the beginning of the Cold War. It was a period of conflict between the ideologies of capitalism and democracy and the perceived enemy of the newly freed world: communism. The Cold War would last for the next fifty years as the United States and the Soviet Union fought for global influence.

This tension permeated all realms of post-war American life. It sank deeply into politics, influencing both international and domestic policy. It seeped into social customs and domestic roles.

At the same time, Americans were dealing with a whole new phenomenon: teenagers.  The idea of teen culture was new in the post war years.  The postwar prosperity eliminated the need for teenagers to enter the work force and high school attendance skyrocketed.  Teens developed a culture of their own as they invested in music, cars, and clothing.

Just as many Americans feared the spread of communism, they also began to fear the new teen culture. The comic books, rock and roll, and movies of teen culture led to the perception that American teens had become unruly delinquents.

Inspired by the success of educational films used in WWII military training, adults attempted to train American teenagers as soldiers of the early Cold War through social guidance films and print media. Schools used educational films as a kind of social guidance boot camp to teach family values, good citizenship and social etiquette in addition to the traditional reading, writing, and arithmetic. The defense of "traditional" American values in the face of the communist threat began in the classroom and continued in the family home.

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Micah Ariel, Kate Connolly, Madeline Kranz, Maureen Kudlik, Jessica Martinez, H. Wesley Miller, Yasmin Zacaria Mitchel, Luis Padilla, Vincent Sandria, Michelle Votzmeyer. Advised by Roshanna Sylvester and Jennifer Schwartz.