Betty feels that her ambitions in life benefited her tremendously. She impacted others not to settle. She entertained during the war and enjoyed it. Her attitudes have basically been the same throughout her life. The industrial society and machines gave Betty a chance to thrive. Her jobs were all stepping stones to new heights. She showed insight and intellect and found time to learn other skills, such as electrolysis.
Betty: There was a greater emphasis on youth and beauty-- a cultural obsession , and much money was being spent on services to make oneself more attractive. Marilyn Monroe, Debbie Reynolds and Doris Day were idols. Electrolysis was a huge trend of the times.
She never was without a job, but planned to do that in the event she needed to and purchased the needed equipment to open a business. She thought it was very interesting. Whenever she had any time, she took classes. Betty always thought of herself as a career girl and never thought that work was a temporary stage that would end with marriage. However, she wasn't going to get married just because the cultural emphasis was on romantic love, especially in the 1950's.
Many women apparently rushed into marriage
because they feared that since women outnumbered
men, and since so many young men were in the military
service, they had better find a husband before they
were all gone (Oakley 1990: 119).
In society today, most would surely agree that Betty is a role model, and has had a unique experience in American history. She was not trapped in roles that stagnated individual happiness and success. Her motivation and incentives came from within with a confidence that developed early, and with the opportunity to capitalize on circumstances. She had luck, skill, and events which opened doors for her in her life endeavors.
Life is more complicated than it has been in the past and its rhythms are more hurried. But, what is significant
in contemporary life remains deeply rooted in our experience as a people (Davidson 1974: 3).
And, social scientists thus become provided with the knowledge to gain deeper understandings with anthropological inquiries as their impetus.
Anderson, John. "The History of Baseball." Newsday 6 July 1992: 34-35.
Davidson, Marshall. Life in America: An Illustrated Cultural History of the United
States Vol. II. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1974.
Foner, Eric and John A. Garraty, eds. The Reader's Companion to American History.
Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1991.
Gordon, Irving L. American Studies: A Conceptual Approach. New York: Amsco, 1984.
Hunter-Hodge, Karen. "The Girls of Summer." NY LIVE 28 June 1992: 27.
Macy, Sue. A Whole New Ball Game. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1993.
Oakley, Ronald J. God's Country: America in the Fifties. New York: Dembner Books, 1990.