HISB41H3 Lecture Notes - Baby Boom, Washing Machine, Media Culture

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Published on 19 Apr 2013
School
UTSC
Department
History
Course
HISB41H3
HISB41 March 11
Exam: 4 short answer questions and one long essay
Lecture outline:
Consumer culture
Post war changes
Baby boom
Post war experts
Economic boom
Consumerism and suburbia
Meaning of booms
Fall of WW2 canadas golden age. Period of positive growth and positive expansion
Images of 50s, consumer goods, housewives, idealized suburban lifestyle. Only a reality for certain
sectors of the Canadian population
Baby boom 12.1 million in 45, doubled to 22.7 mill in 1975
1959, peak of baby boom
Factors: high rate of marriage in the post war period, many people had postponed their marriages
Average age of marriage is younger, people are getting married at a younger age, and they are also
having children at a faster rate. Women are only waiting 1.5 years to have their first child compared to 2
years
Increase in the number of children in Canada, dramatic pressure on the school system. Not enough
schools to accommodate children. New schools were built and educating teachers, rise in the
professionalism of teachers, more teachers being trained and more schools being built
Post war experts
Mother, father and psychologists interested in child rearing and personality development
Targeting Canadians and also immigrants
Writing advice manuals. Designed to instruct parents on how to raise children, ‘normal’ children.
Canada’s Dr. Spock- permissive parenting techniques
Blatz and Laycock, wanted to bring psychology. Part of this parenting technique advice was the modern
separate spheres of ideology reinforcing gender roles in the family. Chatelaine- marriage should no
longer be a patriarchal institution where men would exert power over women. Democratize the family,
idea that husbands would no longer dictate to their lives but they should work together to raise good
Canadian families
Idea of marriage as a partnership, women also has responsibility but still based on traditional views of
women staying home to rear the children. Democratic family ideal reinforces gender roles
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Experts encourage women to maintain their physical appearances to maintain sexual relationships.
Providing not only advice on how to be good mothers and fathers but also good partners/sexual
partners. Rearing “normal” Canadian children. Reason this is happening during this period because of
this growing increase of women into the workforce. Professional women on the rise. Anxiety around
changing gender roles.
1941- 1/10 worked outside the home, 1961 1/5 women outside the home
Middle class ideal the experts were targeting
ECONOMIC BOOM
Canadians are concerned about the health of the economy, many had lived through the depression,
don’t want to see Canada go back to those conditions. King had been very concerned about the
economy, there is a slight boom. Wartime companies were converted into different kinds of industries
after the war was over. Govt had heavy hands to play in taking charge of the economy and making sure
the economy didn’t go back to depression era conditions. Provided incentives to industrialists to sell off
part of their war plants on the condition that they would be reopened as consumer industries.
Reconverting war time productions to useful consumer productions after the war was over. Policy of
liberalization in terms of international trade. Lower tariffs on exports (Canada is very reliable on
exports), reduction of taxes, reduced on foreign investments, which brought in a lot of foreign investors
to invest in Cdn economy. Canada signed off on GATT in 1947, which encouraged western nations like
US and Brit to lower their trade barriers and encourage intl trade. Effect is to draw Canada closer
economically with the US. 50s consumer products and rise in American branch plants in Canada which
are producing many of these new consumer products.
Bought about a growing concern from Canadians of the impact of growing cultural and economical ties
to the US, what it would mean for Cdn economy and culture.
New jobs and industries brought a better standard of living for many Cdns.
1945-56 manufacturing wages doubled. Enforced work week of 40 hours, post war period and intro of
new social programs, social welfare, pensions and family allowance. Not an equal distribution. Central
Canada feels the economic boom (auto industry especially).1951 10% of working cdns are involved in
auto industry in southern Ontario.
Many cdns were still quite poor especially in the Atlantic Provinces. Income disparity- 40% less than Cdn
average
CONSUMERISM
Despite the unequal economic boom, post war period is overall a period of prosperity, new demand for
consumer goods. After the war, huge growth of consumer goods on the shelves. Alters the lives of
Canadians .
1941 21% had electric fridge, 19610 90% had an electric fridge could keep different kinds of food
longer. Cdns are also buying more TVs and automatic washing machines.huge market for washing
machines.
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Document Summary

Exam: 4 short answer questions and one long essay. Images of 50s, consumer goods, housewives, idealized suburban lifestyle. Only a reality for certain sectors of the canadian population. Baby boom 12. 1 million in 45, doubled to 22. 7 mill in 1975. Factors: high rate of marriage in the post war period, many people had postponed their marriages. Average age of marriage is younger, people are getting married at a younger age, and they are also having children at a faster rate. Women are only waiting 1. 5 years to have their first child compared to 2 years. Increase in the number of children in canada, dramatic pressure on the school system. New schools were built and educating teachers, rise in the professionalism of teachers, more teachers being trained and more schools being built. Mother, father and psychologists interested in child rearing and personality development. Designed to instruct parents on how to raise children, normal" children.

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