Did mass media undermine deference and promote the growth of a permissive society in Britain?

willo118_murphy
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Mind Map on Did mass media undermine deference and promote the growth of a permissive society in Britain?, created by willo118_murphy on 04/16/2014.

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willo118_murphy
Created by willo118_murphy over 5 years ago
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Did mass media undermine deference and promote the growth of a permissive society in Britain?
1 Was there a cultural revolution in Britain 1954-69?
1.1 The legal context
1.1.1 There was liberal legislation passed by the government between 1959 and 1969, these laws dicriminalised certain acts and relaxed laws on other crimes relating to sex.
1.1.2 Just because the laws regarding homosexuality or abortion changed does not mean that the attitudes towards them changed.
1.1.3 Most people, young or old, did not welcome more relaxed laws on homosexuality, divorce and abortion.
1.1.4 Demand for these laws came from certain MPs who based their private members' bills on campaigns. These were issues that went far further back than the 1960s. many MPs now agreed that laws should be based on practical consequences of legislation, rather than on the grounds of moral ethics.
1.1.5 Rather than debate whether abortion was intrinsically wrong, the government considered the high number of deaths related to 'back street' abortions, which was about 40 deaths in 1966. The conservatives were worried this would create a permissive society.
2 The context of greater affluence
2.1 The huge growth of wealth across the Western world allowed people in these countries to afford more luxuries. In Britain, almost every household had a television by 1970. Ownership of cars doubled in the sixties.
2.2 The number of supermarkets grew from 800 to 5000.
2.3 Men and women spent around 23% of their free time watching television. There was now a domestication of spare time, class divsions that had been reinforced by by public leisure pursuits, became more blurred.
2.4 Television undermined the separation of elite and popular culture: working class people could watch shows with artistic merit
2.5 Television, together with a general rise in wealth and consumerism, also spread certain fashions more quickly; it became less obvious which class someone belonged to by simply looking at their clothes.
2.6 Designers such as Mary Quant with their boutiques, made mass production of fashionable clothes possible in high streets across the country. It was almost impossible to tell what class a young woman was from the way she dressed.
2.7 Mary Quant, through fashion, attracted so much attention because she reflected what was really going on, the growth of affluence, consumerism, the new confidence of youth and the changing role of women.
3 The technological context - the pill
3.1 In the 1960s, there was a widly held view that young people were having a "Sexual revolution" because young people were thought to have sex more often and with more people.
3.2 The pill was developed in America during the mid-1950s and as a rule by the family planning association, the pill was restricted for married women until 1970. It was not until almost the 1980s that the pillrivalled the condom as the contraceptive choice for most Britons.
3.3 In reality, the notions of a sexual revolution were greatly misleading, surveys found that 18% of girls and 10% of boys in a sample of 2000 teenagers had had sex with more than three people. Only 17% of girls and 33% of boys had had sex by the age of 19. The normal behavior was that people got married, 95% of women were married by the age of 45.
3.4 Most people still held conservative attitudes towards divorce and homosexuality; the only significant change was that young people were more tolerant of sex before marriage than their parents' had been.
4 How far did mass media undermine rigid social hierarchy 1954-69?
4.1 Television developed rapidly after the Queen's coronation in 1953. In 1955, the BBC monopoly on television ended when 14 independent companies were allowed to begin broadcasting funded by advertising.
4.2 The 1954 television act gave ITV a licence to broadcast for 10 years. The government set up a committee to assess the impact of television thus far, and to make recommendations for its future.
4.3 Richard Hoggart was particularly worried about the effects of 'vulgar' American style shows on TV, he though these would erode traditional British culture. The crime dramas and westerns would make people more violent. He also worried that materialism and commercialism of British people and popular culture would increase.
4.4 Writers made social realist plays that were hard hitting and focused on abortion, films were now shot on location and mixed with studio fotage and this made films more realistic While plays discussed controversial topics, they did not portray or inspire a rebellion of working-classes or change their opinion aginst their social superiors.
4.5 The programme that most working class people identified with was coronation street, this had a weekly audience of 20 million within the first year. These were identifiable with popular backdrop drama, strong female characters evoked a sense of wartime nostalgia becasue Coronation street represented a genuine working class community.
4.6 That Was The Week That Was represented the pinnacle of the 'satire boom' that combined current affairs with stand up comedy. Harold Macmillan recognised that the damage that would be done by attacking a popular culture programme, even though most of the jokes were aimed at him.
4.7 Tw3 did help to make journalists less deferential to politicians. This paved the way for investigations into political scandals.
4.8 These programme inspired Mary Whitehouse to launch her clean up TV campaign and she started to attack all sorts of programmes but toned down the christain basis of her criticism to attract more supporters
4.9 'New wave' films were hard, gritty films about the everyday lie of working class people. The films presented a stereotyped view of middle class men as earthy and pleasure seeking.
4.10 The press
4.10.1 In a bid to boost sales, and attract some of the huge advertising revenue that had gone to commercial television, there was an introduction of colour supplements in Sunday newspapers.
4.10.2 In the wake of the satire boom, tabloid newspapers became more scathing in their treatment of politicians and political scandal.
4.10.3 It was increasingly no longer the case that politicians could keep their private lives out of the media.
4.10.4 Not only had profumo had an affair with a 'call girl', Christine Keeler, but she also had an affair with a soviet spy. The exposure of the scandal in march 1963 led labour politicians to demand that Profumo deny the allegations in parliament, he did this, but resigned the next day, making the scandal even worse.
4.10.5 Readers were amazed by such scandalous stories about political elites such as "The man in the mask", a member of cabinet serving dinner at a private party naked except for a mask. This did a great deal of damage to the reputation f the conservative party.
4.10.6 Politicians had generally not been held in high regard by the British people since 1945, but this was usually what people saw as untrustworthiness. because of the increased willingness of the press to attack political elites on a personal level.
5 How far did mass media change British attitudes to sex between 1954 and 1969?
5.1 Television
5.1.1 Mary Whitehouse also complained about "sexy innuendoes, suggestive clothing and behaviour"
5.1.2 There was no sex on television during this period. Possibly the only sexualised elements of all broadcasting were the advertisements on ITV.
5.2 Cinema
5.2.1 The biggest British hits of the 1960s, the carry on comedies and James Bond films, these were overtly sexual in very different ways. The powerful glamour of Bond, and the scantily clad Bond girls, contributed t the film's success.
5.2.2 Another British film that had a sexual focus were A Taste of Honey. In terms of their influence on British people's attitudes to sex, it is highly questionable whether these films had much of an impact at all. Such films are usually about escapism and the values depicted on screen are certainly not the values which people lived by in the real world
5.3 The press
5.3.1 The launch of colour supplements, sexualised adverts and scandalous news stories contributed to a generally more permissive air in the media. however it was not until l1969 that the first female nipple was exposed in a newspaper.
5.3.2 It is questionable how far the press altered British attitudes to sex.

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