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Teenagers in the 1950's and 1960's

            Teenagers as a societal group didn't really exist until the 1950s - after the Great Depression and World War II eras. Once they became prominent in society, teenagers essentially controlled popular culture in the 50s and 60s. Often associated with sex, drugs, and rebellion, teenagers tend to be viewed upon with a disapproving stigma by adults. Throughout suburbanization, the young teenagers began to find their voice in society, through which they established themselves as an ubiquitous age group in America.
             Prior to the second world war, teenagers were considered "young adults" and treated as just that: with the responsibilities of an adult like jobs and draft participation but without the freedoms that came with adulthood like the right to vote. With the new easy access of the automobile came road trips with peers and drive-in movies and restaurants. With seemingly limitless boundaries due to the popularization of the automobile, teenagers began to experiment with sexuality and pushing the boundaries, frustrating parents and angering elders. Teens also began to turn towards a pro-integration stance with the growing civil rights movement. The 1950s was an era of experimentation, suburbanization, but most importantly: rock and roll. The new style of music swept the nation among teenagers and left a permanent stamp on history. The style of music stems from what the adults of the time period called "black music" or the combination of jazz and rhythm and blues typically sung by black people. These songs, however, were not widely receptive at first because the black singers were not appealing to the white demographic the music needed to be successful. Music producers then came up with the idea to have white singers cover these songs; this is how teen idols of the decade rose to fame like Elvis, Johnny Cash, and the Beatles. Parents especially despised this style of music because they believed it promoted sexualization and - the taboo of the first half of the century - racial integration.

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