“The 1950s”

read “Levittown: Making America Suburban,” “What TV is Doing to America,” and Vance Packer’s “The Status Seekers.” These readings consist of a housing manual for new homeowners in Levittown, a critique of the power of television that was published in U.S. News and World Report magazine, and a sociologist’s analysis of consumer culture.
Criticisms of life in 1950s suburbia—a life motivated by consumer culture and the pressure to conform to an outward appearance of affluence—are present in two out of three of these readings. However, the homeowners of Levittown would probably have disagreed or been offended by the comments raised in “What TV is Doing to America” and “The Status Seekers.”
1950s general electric tv advertisement
Synthesize the two opposing perspectives of 1950s suburbia and status seeking. What is your perspective on the pluses and minuses of these new suburbs? Based upon the content of the three articles, what was the connection between suburban life, t.v., and status seeking? How did they reinforce each another?

Sample Solution