The Social Normalities- Popculture


Pop Culture

The 1920’s began the introduction of pop culture into the American lifestyle.

Pop culture was represented through the exposure/publication of the expressive factors of the 1920’s such as flappers and The arts (such as Jazz music and movies) and nightclubs, this is only listing a few. These new explorations were following World War 1 and they developed the expansion of prerogatives and freedom of expression and creativity in U.S.A. The definition of Pop Culture according to Wikipedia is… “Popular culture or pop culture is generally recognized as a set of practices, beliefs, and objects that are dominant or ubiquitous in a society at a given point in time.”



One of the 1920’s major fad’s was the radio. It began as a very popular item amongst the wealthy and were utilised much the same as a Television is used in this time period ( but TV’s obviously have the picture/film addition). THis is because family’s/ people would sit around the Radio to listen to sport events and their commentary, music, the news and other shows.  Toward the end of the decade ⅓ of american households owned a radio and they became a substantial portion of a family’s everyday life.

Amongst this decade was when the broadcasting of KDKA began. KDKA is a class A radio station that was first transmitted in November 1920, it was the first commercial radio station to broadcast, and it was relayed from pittsburgh. The basic radio was sold in the price range of $75 but custom made/ specially done radio’s could range up to $495.



The movie/film scene going into the 1920’s really took bloom. Movies have always been a major scene and intriguing to most era’s. In the 1920’s, film producers and major corporations were in a rat race to get in first for major film opportunities during the big motion picture era.  Corporations included, the Warner Bros., Paramount, Fox Film productions and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

This decade served to produced many famous actors and greatest films recorded. For example…

Universal Studios produced both “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (1923) and “The Phantom of the Opera” (1925).

And United artists produced both “The Mark of Zorro” (1920) and “Robin Hood”(1922)

The 1920’s was also the time of “Picture Palaces”. Picture Palaces are large theaters that were able to house 1-2,000 guests at a time and had a urban decorative design often of a European Spanish, Italian and Baroque architecture-style.

Silent movies were a mammoth part of pop culture during the 20’s, a silent film is a film that has no recorded synchronised sound. Interaction and dialogue was portrayed using miming, muted gestures and title cards.

Films being a very popular entertainment form, lead the film industry to the 3rd largest leading business industry of the 1920’s. In 1926 came the introduction of Technicolor (use of saturated colors in films, such as the Wizard of Oz) gave more excitement and made movies more memorable.

A major example of the excitement and flourishing of the film industry in the 20’s is the first ever Oscar held in 1927. The first Oscar movie was a Paramount Picture named Wings.



The music scene was also a major factor of the pop culture in the 1920’s. MOre specifically Jazz music, Jazz was given a risque name as it was common mostly in speakeasies. Speakeasies are establishments that sold alcoholic beverages during the prohibition era. The Jazz music was a great embracement and representation of the roaring 20’s and that upset the older generations as they saw that era- or more so the behaviour of the decade as being immoral.

Music and the prosper of Jazz opened up a lot of employment opportunities and created a roaring business industry within America.

A couple of the major Jazz artists within the 20’s included Louis Armstrong and Joe ‘King’ Oliver. Louis Armstrong was on of the most influential jazz artists and his music brought a sense of foundation to the Jazz industry. Joe Nathan Oliver was recognized for his music playing style as his use and development of mutes with his jazz intrigued people. He was a cornet player and bandleader. BOth of these musicians music title came before their race which was a uncommon idealized status for men of African-American race during this generation.



The 1920’s also brought Broadway into the entertainment scene. This came alongside Jazz.


Along with all the other enticing fads and introductory activities of pop culture, came dancing. In contrary to the copious amounts of speakeasies, nightclubs/going out, exploration of morals and new popular music that arose during this decade, came the outburst of dancing. The dancing that sprung from this era was a grand representation of the spontaneous and exuberant antics and lively temper that the 1920’s contained.

This new craze lead to many new dance moves and types of dancing such as a very popular type named ‘The Charleston’ which contained many outward heel kicks and knee movements, it required a lot of enthusiasm to be presented well, much like the whole decade.


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