Discussion board: women in the 1950s

 The 1950s is often viewed as a period of conformity, when both men and women observed strict gender roles and complied with society’s expectations. After the devastation of the Great Depression and World War II, many Americans sought to build a peaceful and prosperous society. However, even though certain gender roles and norms were socially enforced, the 1950s was not as conformist as is sometimes portrayed, and discontent with the status quo bubbled just beneath the surface (we will look more at this next week). Keep all of this in mind as you read the small sample of documents below.After reading Women in the 1950s, documents A-D, answer the following questions:

 

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  1. Were housewives happy with their lives?
  2. Were women in the 1950s just staying at home?
  3. Documents A and B say women were staying at home; but Documents C and D say that women were politically involved and even working.  Who should we believe?
  4. Do you think African American, Latino, Asian American, and women from other minority groups had similar experiences to those depicted in these documents?