Booker, M. Keith. The Post-Utopian Imagination: American Culture in the Long 1950s. Contributions to the Study of American Literature, no. 13. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 2002. 

This book talks about how ideas were expressed through films and novels in the 1950s and how they related to 1950s culture. I specifically used the section on Disney’s films from the 1950s. The book goes through the Disney movies released in the 1950s and how they reinforced the social norms at the time, including gender norms.

Corliss, Richard. “Camp in the Classroom.” Time 155, no. 5 (February 7, 2000): 76.

This article discusses the mental hygiene films created in the 1950s and how bizarre they seem to us now. It also points out how unsuccessful they were in teaching the new generation to behave according to 1950s social norms.

Crispell, Diane. “Myths of the 1950s.” American Demographics 14, no. 8 (August 1992): 38.

This article discusses some of the myths of the 1950s, such as marriage rates and all women staying at home after marriage. It takes these myths and disproves them using statistics. In most cases, the statistics proved that most myths of the 1950s are exaggerated.

Halliwell, Martin. American Culture in the 1950s. Twentieth-Century American Culture. Edinburgh University Press, 2007.

This book discusses how American culture was expressed through different mediums like film, theatre, television, advertisements, novels, and music. I used information from its section on sitcoms and how they portrayed the “ideal” middle-class American family.

Kennebec Joural, September 16, 2012, A.7.

This is short article that explores how the family has changed since the 1950s through comparing statistics. It also briefly discusses the concept of an ideal family, which it calls a “1950s TV fantasy,” which applied to my section on the ideal American family in 1950s sitcoms.

McCarthy, Anna. The Citizen Machine: Governing by Television in 1950s America. New York: New Press, 2010.

This book talks about how the American government used television as a way to govern by funding programs. It also discusses the growing importance of television in the 1950s.The programs tried to govern by exposing citizens to the “proper” way to behave in society. 

McDonnell, Mary. “Advertising.” Encyclopedia of Sex and Gender. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2007.

This encyclopedia article discusses advertising in America through the years and how advertisements reflected the gender norms of the time they were created in. It goes into detail about how men and women are generally depicted in advertisements through the years.

“‘Mental Hygiene’ Films Rather Strange.” The Leader-Post (Regina, Saskatchewan). Accessed December 3, 2014.

This article talks about “social guidance films” made by Coronet Studios and how they showed a world that did not exist, but that the older generation at that time wanted to create. It also talks about what topics the films cover and how they approach them. For example they use scare tactics for topics like drug use.

Press, Andrea Lee. Women Watching Television: Gender, Class, and Generationin the American Television Experience. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1991.

The book talks about how women are depicted on television. The section on the 1950s emphasizes the sitcom housewife and points out that in most films and television shows, the mother or wife is rarely if ever shown outside of the house, reinforcing the domestic sphere as solely female. 

“The Winding Path of TV’s Woman of the House.” USA Today, October 1, 2004, sec. LIFE.

This article lists a selection of famous wives and mothers from American television, starting with the 1950s and going to present day. It highlights the differences in how women are depicted on television, particularly from the 1950s housewives.

Young, William H. The 1950s. American Popular Culture through History. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 2004.

This book went through each medium of American popular culture and explained the significance. I mainly used the section on advertisements and how they contributed to American popular culture and reinforced social norms. It also had a section on television that I used some information from. 


Objects/Primary Sources

A Date With Your Family (1950), 2007.

“How Sexist Marketing Sold America on the Automatic Transmission.” Jalopnik.

Accessed December 5, 2014.

“Now—a Revolutionary Vacuum Cleaner.” Accessed December 4, 2014.

“Peter Pan - 16 - Your Mother and Mine - YouTube.” Accessed December 5, 2014.

“Print Ads Through the Decades: The ‘50s.” Crazyleaf Design Blog. Accessed December 5, 2014.

“Sleeping Beauty - Philip Fights The Dragon - Kiss From a Rose - YouTube.” Accessed December 5, 2014.

“The Female’s Role Within Society (2013): E Hanratty.” Accessed December 5, 2014.