Teens in the 1950's

  1. They began listening rock and roll because it was different from the classical music that adults listened to. They were rebelling against their parents because the adults didn't approve of their music.
  2. They liked the new movie genres that came out. They were inspired by these movies and actors because these types of movies rejected the values of adults.
  3. Cars were major part of their rebellion. They used cars to escape the authority of their parents and do what they wanted.
  4. The boys started getting long hair and wore leather jackets. In American society during that time period men were supposed to have short hair, and they were usually seen with a button-up shirt and slacks.
  5. They weren't worried about helping their family. They were interested in drinking, smoking, and sex.

Primary source #1
In 1953, a Boston judge wrote: "We have the spectacle of an entire city terrorized by one-half of one percent of its residents. And the terrorists are children."

This shows how the teens of the 1950's caused many problems through the rebellion against the adults.

Primary source #2
Sarah Inman stares out her kitchen window. Her hands mechanically dunk a plate into a sink of soapy water. "Those, those apple-polishers," she says, scornful of her classmates.
"I don't like them!"
"Punkin!" her father snaps, grabbing a dish towel. "All these people you don't like, aren't they happier than you?"
The camera locks on Sarah's eyes filling with tears as Dad's last words echo on the soundtrack: "Aren't they happier than you . . . happier than you . . . "

This document shows how some teens scorned kids who lived by the standards of society and how adults claimed that the responsible kids were happier than the trouble makers.


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Many teens in the 1950's were probably just tired of living the boring lifestyle that modern society expected them to. People said that the teens lost their innocence because of their drug use. They also began dating without the supervision of their parents. The teens of this time were known because they were acting out. They would listen to loud music, and drink. They also smoked and wore clothes that the adults didn't approve of. Teens were one of the biggest topics in the 1950'

Works Cited NYMH