American Social Classes

Topics: World War II, Sociology, Social class Pages: 4 (1183 words) Published: November 18, 2014
Manuel Rodriguez
History of America post World War II

1. What does Packard’s The Status Seekers tell us about the United States in the 1950’s? What does it omit? The Status Seekers tends to tell us as readers a lot on American social classes during the 1950’s. It showed how little by little there was starting to form big gaps in the social classes in the United States, and what exactly were the factors that were causing these gaps. Americans began to worry about the relationship between social class and economic growth. Many felt that although economic growth was beneficial for everyone as a whole, that it’d deepen the division in the social classes. This book also spoke on how the growth of prosperity caused the economy to rise and the technological growth also contributed greatly. 2. What evidence is there in The Status Seekers that the atmosphere of the cold war, especially the American struggle with communism, shaped Packard’s approach? Throughout the reading there is much evidence that express the tension and sense of worry in American society during the 1950’s, especially during the scare of communism. The atmosphere was a sense of urgency and worry because of the critical time in American life. This was all caused by the spreading of communism, McCarthyism and the spread of nuclear arms such as the atomic bomb. It seemed like a time where there was “much to cheer about and much to worry about.” 3. Where does Packard articulate a challenge to those who believed that prosperity had helped Americans fulfill the American Dream? How effective is this challenge? Packard articulated the challenge that fulfilling the “American Dream” could be done but with many negatives came along with it. Negatives such as women were in a sense restrained and limited to just the domestic part of life and were not able to branch out. Another negative is that the “American Dream” tended to appeal as well as only be possible to be achieved by white upper class families. The...
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