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Template:Worldview Since modern, electronic media began to take hold in the 1920s [1], Western pop culture has gone through about six different stages, each with their own distinct feeling.

Some decades (the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s) are considered to have a feeling all on their own, while other decades, such as the 1990s and 2000s, are considered to be components of a greater era.

1920-1946: Jazz Age, Great Depression, and World War IIEdit

Main articles: 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s

This period was defined by the first popularity of film and the movies, Jazz music [2], which evolved into Swing music by 1935 [3], and later Big Band music [4]. Early on, in the '20s, this period was defined by prosperity, but with the 1929 Stock Market Crash, things quickly turned dire.

The flapper subculture was prominent in the 20s.

The radio became a mainstream medium during this time, and during the Golden age of radio, radio programs were far more diverse, as television had not yet existed, and included most of the genres currently found on television, including the sitcom and the soap opera.

Popular films of this era include The Jazz Singer (1927), Gone With The Wind (1939), Casablanca (1942), and The Wizard of Oz (1939).

1947-1962: Post-war eraEdit

Main article: 1950s

The 1950s, and the years immediately surrounding them, were defined by the first rock n roll, carhop culture, the emergence of the modern teenager, the Red Scare, and the onset of television.

Elvis Presley is the most famous entertainer to come out of this era.

1963-1970: Swinging 60sEdit

Main article: 1960s

The Sixties began with the British Invasion revival of rock n roll, and were defined by Civil Rights, protests over the Vietnam War, the hippie movement, environmentalism, Motown music, and classic rock. [5]

The Beatles are the most famous band of all time, and come from this era. [6]

Mod fashion, characterized by items such as miniskirts which were controversial at the time, was big in 1960s UK. [7]

Other popular bands of the Sixties include The Beach Boys, The Kinks, Velvet Underground, The Temptations, The Chiffons, and The Rolling Stones.

Color television was also mainstreamized during the '60s.

1971-1979: The SeventiesEdit

Main article: 1970s

The 1970s represented a continuation of the '60s rock music. Kitsch was popular in the 70s, and would continue to be in the '80s.

Disco music is considered symbolic of the decade [8], though it was only popular beginning in 1975.

Classic rock was also popular during this era, and the '70s saw the beginning of arena rock which would last up to the early '90s.

Popular music artists of the 1970s include Queen, Journey, ABBA, The Bee Gees, Aerosmith, Elton John, The Eagles, Ohio Players, KC and the Sunshine Band, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Boston, and Village People.

Polyester is considered a staple of 1970s fashion. [9]

1980-1991: The EightiesEdit

Main article: 1980s

The Eighties began with New Romantic fashion, defined by countersexuality and postmodernism, and the introduction of the synthesizer, dramatically altering the sound of music permanently.

Cable television truly took off in this era, and MTV in particular, had a large effect on popular culture — influencing fashion with the music video and contributing to the popularity of New Wave music, an off-shoot of punk rock that later incorporated synthesizers and catchy melodies into the irony and rebellion of punk culture.

Popular New Wave acts of the Eighties include Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, The Cure, New Order, Talking Heads, Blondie, Devo, The Go-Go's, Cyndi Lauper, Culture Club, Information Society, Thompson Twins, Pet Shop Boys, and Psychedelic Furs. Teen movies of the 80s, such as Valley Girl, The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, and Pretty in Pink often featured soundtracks with new wave artists. [10]

The decade saw a swing back to conservatism in Western countries that would last until the mid 2000s in countries like the US and UK. [11]

Hair metal acts like Van Halen and Bon Jovi were popular throughout this period, and influenced fashion. Permed hair was popular during the '80s.

Rave culture and music also began in this period, becoming more and more prevalent in the Alternative era after the '80s, especially in Europe.

The Eighties era is considered to have ended around the year 1991, with the musical success of Nirvana breaking in alternative rock and alternative culture, and the Soviet Union collapsing and the mainstreaming of the personal computer around the same time.

1992-2000: The Alternative eraEdit

The 1990s were defined by the fragmentation of pop culture, due to digital technology [12]. Teen pop, hip hop music and alternative music were the definitive styles of 1992 to 2000 and no later than that.

Tattoos and body piercings outside of the ears also became mainstream beginning in the early to mid 1990s.

The use of profanity became more socially acceptable during this time period [13], and more people followed a DIY lifestyle. Indie music and hipster culture existed alongside the mainstream pop music and rap music cultures.

Musicians popular from the early 1990s include Green Day, Mariah Carey, Snoop Dogg, Wu Tang Clan, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica, The Offspring, Beck, Weezer, Celine Dion, and Garth Brooks.

Teen pop groups and singers of the period include Boys 2 Men, Backstreet Boys, Spice Girls, NSYNC, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera

Popular television shows of the '90s include The Simpsons, South Park, American Idol, The Real World, Law and Order, E.R., Friends, Seinfeld.

Fashion from 1992 to 2000 has been defined by retro-fashion, anti-fashion, Grunge fashion, hip hop fashion, preppie fashion, and apparel such as blue jeans and t-shirts. Accessories became a major part of fashion starting in the early 1990s.

ReferencesEdit

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