Hello and welcome back to my blog. The last couple months in PLP have been spent learning about the 1950s. We have been focusing on the changes that Canada and the world experienced in the 50s, and this post is all about answering the project driving question: “How did Canadian life develop after WWII?”
Lets start of with discussing what this project was all about. PLP 10 has been creating podcast episodes all year. With it being the end of the year, this was our final podcast episode. So for our final project we decided to help out a local organization. The Deep Cove Heritage Society is a non-profit organization in my town. Their goal is to collect stories about Deep Cove and add them to their extensive collection of audio and written resources about what Deep Cove was like in the past. With the pandemic the amount of tourism they used to reached has virtually disappeared. So our class decided to help them out buy adding even more audio recordings.
The DCHS started in 1976, so most of their recordings are about Deep Cove in the early 20th century. The interviews my class and I were conducting would be all about Deep Cove now. So I paired up with my classmate Owen, and together we interviewed a former resident of Deep Cove named Ann Booth. It had actually been a while since I had interviewed a complete stranger, as my last few podcasts had interviewees that I knew in some way or fashion, even if I didn’t talk to them much. So it was definitely a thrust back into interviewing. Looking back now, there were a lot of things I could have done to improved on my interviewing skills. Something I wish I had done better was actually my mindset coming into the interview. I think coming into an interview with the idea that it is an interview is problematic. Of course, you still have to be professional, but I think treating it like a conversation makes it much easier to converse and communicate with your interviewee. If you think you can get more info even if it means straying from your original plan, do it.
My Podcast Planner. My podcast planner is the steps I went through in creating my podcast episode.
Lucky for me, I got a second chance to interview somebody; and a second chance to try my new ideas for interviewing. This time I was interviewing local resident Wayne Smith. Wayne is a short story writer, so I was actually very excited to interview him. I went into the interview with the mindset that this was a professional conversation, and I think it worked. I really tried to focus on communicating with Wayne, rather than just asking a set of questions and recording his answers. I was lucky enough to hear two of Waynes short stories, one of which is included in my podcast episode above. I thoroughly enjoyed talking to Wayne, and I think the things I learned in my interview with Ann really helped.
Alright back to the driving question: “How did Canadian life develop after WWII?” Well, following WWII, Canada and many countries entered a period of mass consumerism. I won’t go too deep into it, but Canada’s economy underwent massive changes after WWII, due to the level of production achieved during WWII. If you want to read what I had to say about how Canada’s economy changed after WWII, I have included a short article I wrote about it below. It wasn’t just Canada’s economy that changed after WWII though. A certain group of people that changed a lot during the 50s were the teenagers. This was the topic of my podcast episode, as my podcast is about teenagers. But after WWII, a new genre of rock and roll began to gain popularity. Teens found this new genre extremely attractive due to the fact that “old heads” found it rebellious and unruly to listen to a genre that promoted sex and other taboo ideas.
With the help of Wayne, I came to the conclusion that the 1950s were really the start of the time that we are in now. Kids now seem much more mature, and are entering that period of relationships much earlier than kids in the past. This trend really started in the 50s, and slowly got more and more radical. After a decade of limited supplies and food, the 50s were all about consumption and enjoying yourself. Well, not everyone got to enjoy themselves, as the idea of the “nuclear family” started in the 50s. This brought about a big difference in gender roles in a family. The father was the breadwinner, while the mother kept the house clean, and prepared food. This can be perfectly shown in this advertisement for Battleship. I want you to focus on who is at the table playing the game, and who is in the kitchen washing the dishes.
So in conclusion, the 50s was a time of change. A lot of the values and traditions keep in the 30s and 40s really began to disappear in the 1950s. Meanwhile, a lot of the values and traditions we hold now started in the 50s. Things we view as essential today started in the 50s. Things like social programs, unions, workers rights, minority rights, and adding sugar in foods all started in the 50s. Technology made massive leaps as well. Cars became more efficient and cooler, the TV was introduced, as well as a number of kitchen appliances became available in the 50s. Values like the nuclear family and the slow decrease in racism and discrimination across Canada began in the 50s, while new ideas like suburbs started to become popular. If I was to think of one word to describe the 50s, it would be change.
More info about the changes in the 1950s: