In what ways did mass consumption and the media contribute to a new "Mass Culture" in the 1920's and 1930's?
When discussing the new "mass culture" of the 1920s and 1930s it is important to first clarify what the term "mass culture" entails. Basically, the 1920s reflected a change in the social, technological, and cultural norms for what we label as mass culture. After experiencing the horrors of World War I, Americans were ready to live life to its fullest and as the slogan goes to "eat, drink, and be merry because tomorrow we die." The decade of the 20s saw the advent of new consumer products, the introduction of mass advertising, and the spread of big business.
One major change that contributed to the mass culture was the fact that during the 1920s there was unprecedented urban growth; people were flocking to the cities in record numbers. For the first time more people were living in cities rather than on farms. City life had a huge effect on the lives of Americans in the form of mass magazines, advertising, movies, and the radio. All of these agencies had a tremendous effect and they served to shape the American culture. Also it was in the city where the new consumer goods like refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, kitchen appliances, etc. were made available. These technological innovations affected the daily life of city dwellers in countless ways. The new innovations for women in particular were time-saving in the area of housework. The vacuum replaced the broom; store-bought clothes replaced the chore of sewing homemade clothing; the electric refrigerator replaced the ice box which had to constantly be refilled with ice. Moreover, the arrival of the electric washing machine and iron made the chore of laundry simpler and easier. Food preparation changed with the use of the electric ...