Professional Custom Accounting Papers: 1970s and ’80s Period of Change in American Society
Use hyperlink to view full article : 1970s and ’80s Were a Period of Change in American Society
The 1980s were called the Reagan years, because he was president for eight of them. During his first term, the recession ended. Inflation was controlled. He reduced taxes. Americans felt hopeful that they could make money again.
Observers created several expressions to describe some groups of people at that time. One expression was “the ‘me’ generation”. This described Americans who were only concerned about themselves. Another expression was “yuppie”. It meant “young urban professional”. Both these groups seemed as if they lived just to make and spend money, money, and more money.
Entertainment in the 1980s showed the interest society placed on financial success. The characters in a number of television programs, for example, lived in costly homes, wore costly clothes, and drove costly automobiles. They were not at all like average Americans. They lived lives that required huge amounts of money.
Two of these television programs became extremely popular in the United States and in other countries. They were called “Dallas” and “Dynasty”.
At the movie theater, a very popular film was called “Wall Street”. It was about a young, wealthy, dishonest — powerful — man who traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Power was a popular program idea in action films, too. The most successful action films were about a man called “Rambo”. Rambo was impossibly heroic. Naturally, he always won. The films showed good winning over evil. But Rambo rejected established rules and was extremely violent.
Another form of entertainment became popular in the 1980s. It was the television talk show. People appeared on these shows mostly to talk about themselves: their politics, their families, their sexual relations. They talked in public about things that were once considered private.
Much of the popular music of the time also showed this new openness. Heavy metal rock groups sang about sex and drugs. And then there was the new form of music called “rap”. In this form, words are spoken, not sung, over a heavy beat. Many Americans found all these kinds of music to be too shocking, too violent, too lawless, and too damaging to the human spirit.
People may have talked and sung openly about sex and drugs in the 1980s. But as the years went by, many became increasingly careful about their own activities. This was because sex and drugs became deadly. A new disease appeared at that time. It was called AIDS, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. The disease spread in several ways. One was through sexual relations. Another was through sharing the needles used to take illegal drugs.
A big change in American life during the 1980s came as a result of the computer. Computers were invented forty years earlier. They were large machines and were used only at universities, big companies, and in the military.
By the 1980s, computers had become much smaller. Anyone could learn how to use them, even children. Millions of Americans soon had a ‘personal’ computer in their home. They could use it to read newspaper stories, buy things, do schoolwork, and play games.
Such technological improvement — and a bright economy — filled Americans of the early and middle 1980s with hope. Many felt there were almost no limits on the good life they could lead.
This program of THE MAKING OF A NATION was written by Jeri Watson and produced by Paul Thompson. This is Rich Kleinfeldt. And this is Ray Freeman. Join us again next week for another V-O-A Special English program about the history of the United States.