American Culture in the 1970s (Twentieth-Century American by Will Kaufman

By Will Kaufman

The Seventies was once a culturally shiny interval. Will Kaufman addresses the dominant cultural different types of the 1970s—fiction and poetry; tv and drama; movie and visible tradition; renowned tune and elegance; public area and spectacle—and the decade's such a lot influential figures and texts, from the writer Toni Morrison to the tv sequence, All within the kin, from Diane Arbus to Bruce Springsteen, from M.A.S.H. to Taxi motive force, and from disco divas to protestors of the Vietnam conflict. Proving there is extra to the last decade than polyester and narcissism, American tradition within the Nineteen Seventies seriously reengages with certainly one of America's such a lot misunderstood eras. (9/1/09)

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But even more important are the visual and aural elements – fashion, hair styles, technological props (for example the Pong video game), period slang and diction. As Sherrie Inness argues, the show relies on the sort of ‘1970s iconography’ that informs larger trends in cultural nostalgia for the decade of the Bee Gees, Saturday Night Fever, ‘lava lamps, suede rugs, and beanbag chairs . . 22 Moving beyond the realms of parody, caricature or nostalgia, however, it is more useful to approach the 1970s – as Shelton Waldrep does – as ‘a period [that] exists in several parallel dimensions.

Consumption promises to fill the aching void’). (71–3) Lasch’s concern with ‘education as a commodity’ (151) will also ring true for many, even if their conclusion is less damning: ‘Sweeping social changes, reflected in academic practice, thus underlie the deterioration of the school system and the consequent spread of stupidity’. (127) Certainly, too, Lasch’s identification of ‘the dread of old age’ – reflected in the proliferation of ‘sciences and pseudo-sciences’ such as ‘geriatrics, gerontology, thanatology, cryonics [and] “immortalism” ’ (207) – will carry some weight for those familiar with the plethora of products and processes that remove wrinkles, hide age-spots and replace sagging skin.

44 Again, this continuously challenged Supreme Court provision indicates a feminist advance across a highly contested battlefield, the end of which is not yet in sight. Other important martial signals were sent out at the beginning of the decade, one of the most important being the feminist anthology edited by Robin Morgan, Sisterhood Is Powerful (1970). With over fifty ground-breaking essays by feminist activists in medicine, publishing, television, the military, academe, journalism, office administration, psychology, psychiatry and the sex industry, and with testimonies from across the racial and political canvas, the anthology is, as Morgan argues, both a call to arms and ‘an action’ reflecting other actions in the highly charged public sphere: It is now the spring of 1970.

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