Mass Media, Popular Culture and Social Change in Britain Since 1945

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Created by yasmyncharles almost 6 years ago


A Levels History (Mass Media, Popular Culture and Social Change in Britain) Note on Mass Media, Popular Culture and Social Change in Britain Since 1945, created by yasmyncharles on 04/15/2014.

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Unit 1: Mass Media, Moulder or Mirror of Popular Culture?Mass Media as Content and Technology-Marshall McLuhan - argued, "the medium is the message" in his book "Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man"-Medium - something through which information is brought to the senses.-Media - the plural of medium-First mass medium - Johannes Gutenberg (German Goldsmith), made first mechanical printing machine 1439-William Caxton brings printing press to England, publishes Chaucer's Canterbury Tales n 1476 that year -Books cheaper = more accessible-Printing Press = The 'Press'. Newspapers printed 17th century onwards -Not until after 1880, with rise of mass literacy through compulsory education that it may be thought of as a truly mass medium.-Broadcast sound info to mass audience -1896 Marconi first radio broadcast, patents in Britain -Film tech developed around same time - cinema-TV's not considered a mass medium till after war, 12,500 sets, broadcast without sound 1929-39 (suspended till June 1946)-McLuhan - medium changed how people thought/how they were organised Forms of Ownership and Control of Mass Media-Content has massive impact upon society-Media as the Fourth Estate - balances power of the three other powers by holding govt. accountable (champ for masses/safeguard liberty and democracy)-Mass Media can't be an independent check - because they're part of political and financial interests -Private companies funded by advertising dominated the mass media in america from the outset-Govt&Media - govt. favours good media coverage - media favours favourable taxes & legislation-Radio and televisual tech emerged from private research/entrepreneurship - too important to be left in hands of businessmen - but lead to dictatorship if in govt. hands.-Compromise - 1927 BBC founded by Royal Charter not by act of parliament-BBC's output controlled by Quango (non-govt. org admin body but members appointed by gov) The Board of Governors (replaced in 2007 BBC Trust)-BBC funded not by tax revenue but licence fee's on TV sets = Free from both direct governmental control and demands of advertisers who preferred cheap tacky shows that appealed to the masses -BBC - monopoly - give people what they want - ITV, independent TV funded by advertising, launched in 1955, and radio in 1975 (pirate since 30's though)-BBC gradually abandoned public service ethos to compete with commercial TV ratings Definitions of popular culture -Culture- In terms of artistic products (all referred to as texts)-Culture- In terms of way of life (called Lived Culture)-Popular referring to large no. as in popularity-Popular- In terms of sales (can widely sold elite culture such as classic novels be seen as pop culture?)-Popular - In terms of no. produced. Seen as- what is mass produced for quick consumption rather than lasting importance - max profits by giving customers what they want, cheap, flashy, sexy entertainment -Popular referring to 'of the common people' as opposed to 'of the elite-Popular - as inferior because ordinary people as less highly educated than the elites. Their cultural products don't meet the quality or difficulty of high culture (but what about elite culture i.e Operas by Pavarotti that became popular, or pop culture turning into high culture i.e work of Dickens)-Popular -The culture of the people - genuine and authentic and not industrially produced and syntheticWays in which mass media, popular culture and society are linked-Some Historians argue that the mass media and popular culture have had a crucial role in changing the way British people think and live. -Others argue that other factors such as increasing affluence, changes in the law, education and employment have had a far greater impact on British society and the media and popular culture merely reflect such changes

Unit 2: How Austere Was Austerity Britain 1945-54Key Features of British Society - Quantifiable and Intangible Aspects  -1951 Census - 50.3 Million living in Britain (Missing 250,000 killed in battle, 60,000 from German bombings)-84% of UK lived in England/ 80% in urban areas/ 40% of those in densely populated areas such as areas of Greater London, West Midlands, Merseyside, Yorkshire-Poorest people crowded into older, inadequate housing in city centres-7 million without hot water/10% without electricity/1/4 without indoor toilets/ 1/3 without fixed baths-Couldn't afford to move to newer house on outskirts because of travel costs for work -Still predominately an industrial, manufacturing nation - 60% of workforce in manual labour, women usually only worked till married. -Working class - unskilled labourers to skilled mechanics -Health - less fatty and sugary diet (sweets rationed 1942-53) more active lifestyle - physical work/ Lower life expectancy/ NHS launched in 1948-Mini baby-boom after end of war = younger population than today-Far more teenagers in 60s than 40s -Racially homogenous - only a few small black, chinese, south asian communities in London and western port cities i.e Liverpool & Cardiff-British people wealthier - average wages grown faster than the price of an average basket of goods. Larger ranges of products in shops today-Bread rationed in June 1946 first time since 1918 - not derationed until July 1948-1946 1/4 of all consumer expenditure rationed.- rose to 30% in 1948, cut down to 12% in 1849-Class - people associating selves with nationwide classes-Deference for authority (exceptions of religion/secularisation 70% religious 17% attend church, exception of politicians - untrustworthy & self seeking)-Women and Family - Defined gender roles despite more women working from 1945 - excepted to stop when married. Hard to get divorces till 1969 legislation, though rate rose from 6,000 to 60,000 between 1939-1945 due to wartime strains, though divorce rates fell in 50s and 60s due to nuclear family.-Sex- before marriage, co-habitation without marriage and homosexuality taboo though still probably happened-Racial Minorities - few people in contact with other ethnic groups as small amount - treated with either curiosity and tolerance or contempt and fear.-Consumerism - Make do and mend, 1/3 of all spending on food despite rationing, not much left for luxuries, people looked forward to greater affluence but were not obsessed with material goods Austerity of Popular Culture in Britain between 1945-54 Newspapers - press barons Rothermere, Beaverbrook, Northcliffe built up large chains of newspapers - profits before politics Radio - BBC had a monopoly on radio until 1973. 1951 - 90% have a wireless. Powerful means of influencing national culture without pressure of selling advertising. Audience as 'public' not 'market' - Lord Reith - educate and inform public rather than attract masses of listeners.Cemented strong sense of national identity through immediacy and reinforcing sense of belonging but people already had these feelings before rise of Radio as a mass medium due to first world war, national football leagues, county cricket, nationwide rail, national newspapersLittle progression in taste as you could choose between the light programme, home service and third programmeOn sundays, the light programme dedicated to religious services - people tuned into pirate radio (luxemburg, normandy)Americanisation - big band swing music popularised - dance halls - dance crazes, lindy hop, swing jive, jitterbugCinema - British Board of Censors (BBFC) acted like BBC's Green Book - preventing bad language, sex and subversive ideas reaching British audiencesAttracted predominately working class, youthful audiencesOnly in larger cities would cinemas give choices of films to watch.One of the most popular forms of entertainment in the inter-war period. Attendance slumped by 1954 - arrival of television/comfort of homes/TVBritish cinema suffered from strong american competition - 1940s 80% films shown american. Quota act passed in 1938 - ensured 20% british films J Arthur Rank - methodist Mill owner - saw threat of americanisation even before war - invested large sums of money into British film industry. By mid-40s responsible for over half of British film production.Ealing studios Deference/Spiv 

Unit 3: Did Rock and Roll Change British Society 1955-69?Invention of Youth -Word teenage not coined till 1921 (recent development). Word only came into regular use in Britain after 1945-Decline of child labour from the mid 19th century-Rise of compulsory education at end of 19th century = Contribute to the idea of a separate life stage between childhood and adulthood-Post-war baby boom meant the no. of 15-19 y/o's rose from 3174000 to 4282000 from '51 to '65= Increase alone led to greater conspicuousness of their activities -Effect of government legislation - increase of teenagers with a shared separate identity to those older and younger than them-1944 Education Act raised school leaving age to 15. Led to doubling of of no. of pupils aged 15 or over in schools in England and Wales. '55 -329000 '65 -785000. School offered more flexible, alternative focus of identity instead of being a "young man/woman" at work.-1948 National Service Act - 18 Months (later 2 years) of National Service. Miners/farmers/navy were exempt. Could delay service through uni. 3 years of limbo without any responsibility. -Disposable income (no need to buy food/pay the rent)-Production-line tech led to greater demand for flexible, unskilled labour instead of poorly paid apprenticeships for a skilled job-5 million teenagers in Britain earned 10% of national income and spent most money on entertainment and luxuries-Increased wealth and shared identity led to new leisure pursuits - coffee bars -First opened by Italian immigrants in '52, London. By '57 - 1000 across the country -Becoming more sexually mature at a young age - Albermale Report 1960 (reaching puberty at 15 rather than 16/17 - improved diets) Impact of Rock and Roll on Youth Culture  -Popularised by white performers - Bill Haley, Elvis from black musicians -March 1955- Blackboard Jungle -Bill Haley's Rock Around The Clock - film huge hit because popularity of the music-1956- Bill Haley and The Comets: Rock Around The Clock - 60 young men at screening charged with causing disturbances inside/outside cinemas - Teds-Blackburn banned film- crowds of 100s ranting and raving - police reports Rock and Roll and The Extent of The Americanisation of British Youth Culture -Robert Hoggart - thin and pallid culture derived from brash american capitalism and consumerism-From films/american GI's off duty between '42-45 and West Indian immigrants after '48 - zoot suits mimicked by Teds-Look emerged by 52' spread by '53 - by '56 out off fashion - Italian inspired mod fashion coming in by time Rock n Roll took off in UK-Rock n Roll - bland ballads from UK record companies -Looked so bleak - Beatles turned down by Decca '62 ---- British invasion 1964-65 Relationship between Cinema, Radio, Television, Newspapers and Rock and Roll -Cinema - American teenpics, UK- cashed in on existing artists fame-Radio - Pirate Radio - BBC didn't want to waste money on needle time copyright fee's but couldn't recreate hits of Elvis etc-Radio London & Caroline - Fab 40 @ The Big L. Though by august 1967 - Marine Broadcasting Offences Act banned pirate radio - though Caroline ignored-BBC filled the gap - split the Light show into Radio 1 & 2 for pop & directed at younger audience-Response to market that already existed -Television didn't take off till 7 yrs after 1946 - 15,000 in '47 to 344,000 in '55-Newspapers - mixed relationship Impact of The Beatles on Popular Culture in the 60s

Unit 4: Did Mass Media Undermine Deference and Promote The Growth of a Permissive Society in Britain 1954-69?The Idea of a 'Cultural Revolution' in Britain in the 1960s -Marwick - end of Victorianism - rise of more permissive society (Right Wing politicians agreed - 60s cause of current social problems)-Joanna Burke- exaggerated - minorities actions-Contextual factors larger than the effects of mass mediaThe context of greater wealth, new legislation, and the Pill -1961 Suicide act -1965 Abolition of the Death penalty (initially suspends hanging for 5 yrs - complete by 1969)-1967 Homosexuality legalised between consenting males in private over 21 in England & Wales-1967 Abortion Act legalises abortions through NHS during first 28 weeks of pregnancy-1967 Theatre Censorship abolished  -1969 Divorce Reform Act - allows to be granted after 2 years of separation if both parties want it/5 years if just one - "irreconcilable differences"-Causalist-Sympathetic backbenchers -50s - 70s Golden era of Western capitalism - Eric Hobsbawm -Britain - almost every household had a television by 1970-Car ownership between 60-70 doubled from 5,650,000 to 11,802,000-Supermarkets from 800 to 5000 (closure of 60,000 smaller shops - changed the look of trad highstreet)-Impact of television closing class divide?-Fashion not distinguishing classes -The pill - Jan 1961 first prescribed by British doctors -By 1964, 480,000 women on pill - restricted to married women till 1970 - discretion - Family Planning Association-Michael Schofields's Sexual Behaviour of Young People 65- sample of 2000, only 18% girls, 10% boys -had more than 3 sexual partners-17% of girls and 33% of boys had sex by 19Impact of television, cinema and newspapers on the social hierarchy in Britain between '54-69 -Committee of Inquiry on Broadcasting to assess the impact of television so far July 1960 - Sir Harry Pilkington -Richard Hoggart influenced many decisions-Worried about effects of 'vulgar' american style programmes on ITV - Double Your Money/Take Your Pick (1955-68)-Erode trad british culture-crime dramas/westerns make people more violent-Advertising increase materialism & commercialisation of British people and popular culture -Recommendations ignored largely by govt. but 1964 Television act did increase power of ITV regulator - had to screen 2 plays/2 current affairs programmes in addition to news to fulfil public service obligation-Report led to creation of BBC2 in April 1964 - increase public service broadcasting -BBC1 Social realism plays - The Wednesday play-1965 - Up The Junction - David Steel's Campaign-1966 - Cathy Come Home - Shelter December 1st launched same year - coincidence- support because discussion of play -Coronation Street - Ken Barlow/Elsie Tanner-That Was The Week That Was (TW3) - Nov '63 pinnacle of 'satire boom' - 12 million viewers a week -Mary Whitehouse - Clean up TV Campaign 27 Jan 1964 - 2000 attend first meeting  - mostly middle aged women-In '65 renamed the National Viewers & Listeners Association -Cinema - British New Wave - gritty working class though written by middle-class men-Press- Newspaper circulation fell - boost sales - images/punchy headlines/scandal - Profumo Impact of television, cinema and newspapers on attitudes to sex in the years 1954-69 -Television - Mainly sexual innuendo, themes of sex, revealing clothing - short skirts on Ready Steady Go, most prominent in ITV adverts-Cinema - new wave films artistically important - not biggest hits @ box office - Carry On & James Bond -Press- sexualised adverts, scandalous adverts and news stories gave permissive air but first nipple in a newspaper in 1969 - The Sun, Rupert Murdoch

Unit 5: Anarchy in the UK? Media, Popular Culture and Society in the 1970sThe financial, political and economic context of social change in the 1970s-FINANCIAL- 73 saw end of global era of capitalism - October Arab states invade Israel -American support for Israel so - Arabs members of the Org of Petroleum Exporting Countries stopped supply of oil to USA -Price of oil quadrupled -£ already devalued in '67 - cost of all imports rose-Oil shock, devaluation of pound, huge cuts in gov spending - recession -74-78 standard of living fell since start of 50s-unemployment 2% to 4.7%-Inflation 13% in 70s, 25% in 75-Weekly shop 75 £25, 83 £115-Prices led to Trade Unions demanding higher wages - tense struggle with govt - reported in media - miners power cuts,led to strikes -little uncollected - dead not buried -POLITICAL- The impact of television, radio and popular music, cinema and newspapers on social reactions in Britain in the 1970s The impact of mass media and popular culture on British attitudes in the 1970s 

Unit 1: Mass Media: Moulder or Mirror of Popular Culture?

Unit 2: How Austere Was Austerity Britain 1945-54

Unit 3: Did Rock and Roll Change British Society 1955-69?

Unit 4: Permissive Society 1954-69?

Unit 5: Anarchy in the UK?

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