3_25 friday - rubinsteinprecal

Friday 3/25 Elaine Tyler May's Cold War, Warm Hearth
- image of nuclear family in nuclear age: “isolated, sexually charged, cushioned
by abundance, and protected against impending doom by the wonders of
modern technology”
o home offered a secure private place removed from the dangers of the
outside world
o as the Cold War began, young postwar Americans rushed into this
vision of marriage and family life
- post WWII brought on “baby boom”
o trend among all races, religious groups, different socio-economic
classes, etc lasted for more than 2 decades
o brought birthrate to 20th century high after >100 year decline
o families formed between 1940-1960 reduced the divorce rate
o demographic trends not completely explained by return to peace
numbers are way above that of any other postwar baby boom
- war time brought thousands of women into the paid labor force when men
left to enter the armed forces
- war time also brought increasing educational and job opportunities as well
as increasing availability of birth-control
- children of the baby boom growing up in the Cold War brought 20th century
birthrate to all time low and divorce rates to all time high
- children of baby boom developed powerful feminist and civil rights
movements, sexual revolution
- racial and class divisions were concealed beneath aura of unity after the war
as U.S became the leader of the free world
- the way the U.S. was portrayed by the rest of the world was characterized by
the white middle-class nuclear families located in suburbia
o poverty and racism excluded some from this ideal of what America is
Friday 3/25 Julie Blair, GI Bill Paved the Way for a Nation of Higher Learners
**arguments about the impact of the GI Bill
- before the GI Bill was passed, higher education was almost entirely the
province of the well-to-do  after this law was passed college was seen as a
reachable and necessary goal
- 7.8 million WWII veterans took advantage of the GI Bill during the 7 years
benefits were offered doubled college population
- GI Bill offered the same opportunities to every veteran, regardless of the
person’s background “the link between income and educational
opportunity was broken”
- In 1940 women= 40% of U.S. college students  dropped to 29% in 1947
after GI Bill was implemented because it benefitted men
- Black students benefitted from civil rights movement of 1960s and
affirmative action policies in admissions by early 1970s.
o Black enrollment in higher education tripled during 1960s and then
doubled to nearly 1 million by 1976
Friday 3/25 Eduardo Porter, Buy a Home and Drag Society Down
**arguments about the federal government's prioritization of home ownership in
the suburbs.
- positive externalities: homeowners have a bigger financial stake in their
homes than renters do. This motivates them, to take better car of their
houses and communities, making them better Americans
o studies show homeowners do this more: vote, know the name of their
representative on the school board, go to church more, invest in the
upkeep of their homes
o children of homeowners have a better change of finishing high school,
especially among low-income populations. Daughters of homeowners
were less likely to become pregnant before turning 18
- homeownership limits mobilitycan be good for community but can become
a problem in the face of a local economic downturn
- tax incentives to own homes hurt inner cities by increasing segregation of
rich and poor
- mortgage interest deduction encourages richer families to buy bigger places
in the suburbs and leave the more cramped cities to the poor