Through all civilization there has been some materialism, it is just more dominate at some years then others. The 1950s what one of those times. There were many new inventions; some of them included the color television, the refrigerator, and many more. Some things that were status symbols then are now everyday common items that are a necessity in today’s society.
Because of what was a status symbol for the rich gets passed down through the classes there is a large influence on the culture of today. Here are some examples of what was created then and everywhere now:
Today is also one of those times where materialism is big. As it is apparent, not only is it how nice your house it but also how nice the houses around you are too. Property is normally a person’s biggest asset, and it can tell how much money a person has. If a person lives in a country club or a nice gated community then they probably have more money then a person living in a mobile home.
Other fashions of today that are used to set wealthy people apart from the middle class are loud jewelry. This is for the most part new money like music stars and sports figures. They want to be seen because they will sell more if they are remembered. The name that given to that look is known as “bling bling.” Another look that goes along with that group is going places with attractive people of the oppose gender.
With the rapid changing in technology, it is hard to keep up with the new advances. Things are always changing and what is good now will be obsolete in a month. A sign of wealth in the technological area is to have the smallest and that fastest.
In the 50’s people began driving cars that were faster and brighter and beefier than they really had to be, why? Because it showed people that they had the best, fastest, nicest car around. Even today people will go to any extent so that they can look like they are rich even though they are not. There is that commercial for a car company that even says, “people will only think you got a raise,” or even “It only makes you look like you have a million bucks”. Toyota for instance makes the Camry; now Lexus (the luxury branch of Toyota) makes the ES. Now they are built on the same chassis, but a Camry (at its highest price) runs for about $25,000, yet the Lexus Es starts at $32,000 STARTS AT!! Now why would someone want to pay almost 10,000 dollars for a Lexus when they can have the same looking car for 25,000 dollar’s? Now sure you are getting a few extra features but the basic concept is the same.
The American franchise chain known as McDonalds formed in 1955, becoming a corporate franchise based on the small highway-side buisness sharing the same name. Started by Ray Kroc, McDonalds would expand exponentially as well as future franchises such as Taco Bell and Shell Gasoline.
Part of American pop culture in the 1950s and through the turbulent 1960s was the soda shop. With the mass production of soda and milkshake devices that could produce multiple amounts at once or in a short time, the soda shop came into being. It was popular with teenagers as food served was the hamburger and often, Coca Cola. Workers were often known as "soda jerks" because they jerked on levers that would open the valves and release the soda. Often establishments would serve the middle classes who couldn't afford expensive designer meals.
Inventions such as the oven and the microwave oven enabled cookie to be done at record speeds. A cake could be baked in under 4 hours at home instead of many hours in a fireplace or purchased for high prices at bakeries. With the use of aluminum and plastics in nearly everything, quick meals could be made by simply turning on the microwave. This meant that women who were at home would be able to cook meals easier to have more time cleaning the house.
Today, food is nearly affordable to everyone living in the United States, both due to increased economy and the scientific developments enhancing crops. Grains with special genes grow many times faster. Mass agriculture means that food will be available for low prices and slightly increased prices if rare or out of season.
Most foods are advertised in an extremely in-your-face fashion. Television, radio, sometimes movies, and even the packaging contain advertisements. Pepsi uses TV to tell the world that they can be like Britney Spears, Shakira, and even Ozzy by drinking the same cola. Wheaties boxes have athletes banded across the boxes in an effort to say "you can be fast, if you eat Wheaties." Atleast 4 times an hour on most channels can you find a Lucky Charms commercial or a Trix commercial, especially during post-school hours.
About 75% of our food today, give or take 10%, is lower in quality than the past. With increased quantity, manufactured foods could be produced en masse and entire crops can go into a single item to be stretched out to the limits of use. As of such, fatness has abounded in our country because of the increased substitution of sugar and starch in place of vitamins and minerals.
The response to the detereoration was the Health Food Revolution.
Adults from healthier times created chains of "whole" foods that were
supposedly natural and healthier. Fresh produce, grains, and soy are
examples. Today, you can mainly find the middle and upper-classed adults
trying to trim down by taking the "whole" approach. The reason why is
simple, they can afford the more expensive( and rare) products which the
lower classes can't.