By James Gilbert

ISBN-10: 0195037219

ISBN-13: 9780195037210

ISBN-10: 0195056418

ISBN-13: 9780195056419

The formative years tradition is on everyone's lips this day, as pressures construct to prohibit arguable music lyrics, reintroduce tuition prayer, and limit kids' entry to contraceptives. it isn't the 1st time americans were outraged over the "seuction of the innocent."

whilst James Dean and Marlon Brando donned their motorbike jackets and followed alienated poses in insurgent with no reason, East of Eden, and The Wild One, within the 1950's, so did 1000's of yank kids. Or so it appeared to their mom and dad. American youngsters have been having a look and appearing like juvenile delinquents. by means of mid-decade, the country had reached a pitch of close to obsession with the dangerous results of movie, radio, comedian books, and tv on American early life. specialists around the land denounced mass tradition as depriving adolescents in their innocence and weakening their mom and dad' carry on them. by means of the top of the last decade, the obsession had ended, even if the particular numbers of teenage delinquents had it seems that risen.

A Cycle of shock explores the 1950's debate over the media and juvenile delinquency between mom and dad, pros, and the creators of mass tradition themselves. during this groundbreaking learn, James Gilbert sees the try and blame the media as a part of a bigger response of ache echoed in fresh debates over censorship. The ebook examines how the significant phenomena of the 1950's--the improvement of adlescent tradition and the increase of a mass media society--became intertwined and harassed and argues that youth ceased to be a chance as they have been well-known to be a market.

,bout the Author:

James Gilbert is a Professor of historical past on the college of Maryland. he's the writer of one other probability: the US After global warfare II, between different books.

A groundbreaking learn of the '50s obsession with juvenile deliquency

·Sheds new gentle at the upward thrust of the early life tradition and America's reaction to change

·"A extraordinary exploration...He deeply illuminates our realizing of the modern United States."--William M. Tuttle, Jr.

·"Cultural heritage at its best."--David Nasaw

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Additional info for A Cycle of Outrage: America's Reaction to the Juvenile Delinquent in the 1950s

Sample text

A far more interesting and puzzling phenomenon was the rise of hot-rod culture, based upon the modification and individualization of car styles. Some observers viewed this process as enormously hostile and a foreboding of delinquency. Others interpreted it as an understandable effort to modify and individualize mass-produced products. In fact, strong elements of both phenomena were present. Modifications often mocked the sedate standard versions of automobiles, desecrating, as it were, the symbols of social and geographic mobility that many adults cherished.

And just as surely, testimony before the committee revealed that delinquency was a phenomenon whose interpretations trailed complex fears about the impact of war and social change on children. Like hearings that would be held later in the 1950s, there were no conclusive results other than the effect on opinion. Senators found the issues too complex, the facts and figures too contradictory, and the advice too diverse to settle upon any action. If there was any unanimity at all it had to do with the problem of girl delinquents.

Adolescents also appeared to be creating their own premature adult culture in another controversial area. They were transforming the use and appearances of automobiles. For teenagers, the automobile became a symbol of a subculture, part extension and part caricature of adulthood. Again, this was related to larger social patterns. Thus the drive-in theater business (a disapproved teenage dating arena) coincided with a postwar rise in both singleand two-car family ownership. " A far more interesting and puzzling phenomenon was the rise of hot-rod culture, based upon the modification and individualization of car styles.

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