The New Mass Culture
Part II
• Summarize how movies & other vehicles of
mass culture created a new national
• Describe how the new media of
communication reshaped American culture in
the 1920s.
• What are the media sources
influencing modern American
• How?
#7-11) Describe how each
of the following elements
of mass media redefines
the norms of American
Social norms…
A belief or value that is common to
members of a particular culture.
Social norms are often referred to as
“the way we do things around here”
and are the standards for
appropriate social behaviors. The
established norms within a society
maybe reflected in dress, language
and social habits culture.
The Roaring 20s
Movies, radio, journalism,
recordings, advertising &
celebrities created a new
national community.
The movie industry…
• Reorganizes in Hollywood…
• Large studios:
- Paramount; Fox; MGM;
Universal; Warner Brothers
• The three functions of the studio
system… Production, distribution & exhibition
• Wall Street investment is required to fund
big movie projects
The movie industry…
New themes for movies…
- Consumer culture, youthfulness,
- Types…
- Musicals; Gangster films; Westerns;
Comedies; Travelogues
end the silent era
The Jazz
Al Jolson
...The first film in which
people speak to the
Greta Garbo –
Flesh and the Devil
Douglas Fairbanks
The Mark of Zorro
Clara Bow
Mary Pickford
“America’s Sweet
Rudolph Valentino
The Sheik
Charlie Chaplin
“The Little Tramp”
Many Americans, particularly
in rural areas and small
towns, worried about
Hollywood's impact on….
The potential decay of sexual
morality in our culture
7) Summarize how motion
pictures redefined the norms of
American society
• Influences dress, hair styles & language
• Liberal social themes in movies change traditional
• Movies advocate “a consumption oriented society” ... A
society in which people always seek the latest and
greatest consumer goods. “Gotta have it” or my life is
not complete.
Radio Broadcasting
In the early
1920s, radio
was used to
newspapers by
reading news
from the
papers on the
Radio Broadcasting
Who paid for radio programs at first
and how did it change?...
What was America listening to on the
Households with Radios 1920-30
• 1920s...
1924…. 1,250,000
1926…. 4,500,000
1928… 8,000,000
• 1930...
• 600 stations
• 40% of America with a radio
KDKA in Pittsburgh, PA
was the first radio station.
“The wireless”
What conclusions can you draw
about the radio?
The giants of radio broadcasting…
General Electric (GE)
Radio Corp of America (RCA)
American Telephone & Telegraph (AT&T)
National Broadcast Comp. (NBC)
Columbia Broadcast Comp. (CBS)
Radio’s first national hit…
8) Summarize how commercial
radio broadcasting redefined
the norms of American
Provides a link to the outside world
Creates a national consumer culture
Makes sports popular... Baseball & college football
Popularizes...Country western, blues & jazz
New Forms of Journalism
Tabloid Newspapers…
New York Daily News
LA Daily News
Denver Rocky Mountain News
The differences between tabloids & other
-Tabloid topics… Sensationalized news...
scandal, sports & sex
-Tabloid readers…Poorly educated, working
class, city dwellers, commuters &
Sensationalism in tabloid journalism:
The Ruth Snyder execution in...
A Long Island housewife, convinced her lover that her
husband was abusing her. The pair murdered him and
their trial was a media frenzy. They were quickly found
guilty and executed.
A photographer from
the NY Daily News,
had a camera
strapped to her ankle,
and took picture of her
at the moment of
death. The paper sold
250,000 extra copies.
4) Summarize how tabloid journalism
redefined the norms of American
• Influences the national consumer culture
• Sensational news reporting
Advertising in the 1920s
• Related to the efforts of the CPI in WW I...
The success of the WW I CPI brings new
advertising techniques...
• The focus “Needs, desires and anxieties”
• Appeals to… “Nature, medical authority,
personal freedom, vanity, physical &
emotional wellbeing”
Jan, 1923 - McClure's Magazine
NEW Kissproof the
waterproof a
startling jade green case.
New! Different! Exquisitely modern!
Daintily thin! Never before has a
Compact Rouge been offered in such
a strikingly original case! Luxurious
gold and brilliant jade green! An
Exclusive Compact Rouge for
Particular Women--yet costs but 50c!
And its genuine Kissproof!
Jan, 1923 - McClure's Magazine
Script: “The Supreme
Achievement in
Electric Washing
What consumer goods are
now being mass
The auto, radios, washing
machines, electric razors
fans, vacuum cleaners
phonographs and
The focus
“Needs, desires
1922: 100K in
sales... 1927: 4
million in sales
10) Summarize how advertising
redefined the norms of
American society.
• CONSUMPTION! ...Materialistic desire
• Creates a national consumer culture
The Phonograph & Record Industry
The most popular
types of music in
the 1920s…
The Phonograph &
Record Industry
Records transform
popular culture
1921: 100 million in
record sales
11) Summarize how the record
industry redefined the norms of
American society.
• Dances crazes... Fox Trot, Tango, Grizzly Bear,
Charleston, Black Bottom
• Creates a common understanding of popular
• Music has a role in social interaction
Sports Heroes & Celebrities
Summarize the significance of sport
& celebrity in the 1920s?
Who was George
Herman Ruth and how
did he affect the game
of baseball?
Babe Ruth
“The Sultan of Swat”
1927- 60 HRs
The Negro Leagues
The NL
played 11
World Series
Biggest black
attraction in
the US
Josh Gibson
Led NL in HRs for 10 years
75 HRs in 1931
585 ft. HR at Yankee Stadium
Elected to MLB Hall of Fame in
Satchel Paige
• Pitcher 1926-1950
• 1971 Hall of Fame
• Age 59, pitched 3 innings
for the A's -oldest man to
pitch in MLB
Charles Lindbergh
1927 -The Spirit of St. Louis lands in Paris
1920 - First to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean
NY to Paris in 33 ½ hours
A magnetic compass & air speed indicator to guide
100,000 greet him in Paris
Amelila Earhart
• 1928 1st woman
passenger to cross
-20 hrs. 40 min.
• 1932 solo flight
across Atlantic
• 1937 disappears
trying to fly around
In 1926, at the age of 19,
Ederle swam 35 miles
across in the English
channel in 14 hrs 39 min.
"People said women
couldn't swim the Channel,
but I proved they could" -Ederle
Jack Dempsey
Heavyweight Champ
Bill Tilden
“Battling Bill”
Bobby Jones
Considered the
greatest amateur
golfer of modern
Red Grange
“The Galloping Ghost”
• 1924 - Illinois v. Michigan…
- First 5 carries & 5 TDs
- First sports figure with
Johnny Weissmuller
"Greatest Aquatic Star ever produced in America"
1932-1938 he stars in 12 Tarzan films
1924-28 Olympic Swimmer & Water
Polo Player
5 gold medals
1 bronze (Polo)
Summarize how the celebrities of
the 1920s helped redefine the
norms of American society.
• Modeling youthful athleticism
• People became loyal spectators... Team identity
• Role models outside of the sports arena... Rich,
famous, glamorous
Collaboratively write a Twenty Five
Word Summary for the past section
Answer the following....
Whether shopping, watching the movies,
listening to radio or reading a newspaper,
consumers in the 1920s were exposed to
more things that:
A) Reflected local or regional qualities.
B) Set them apart from the new immigrants.
C) Were produced for a national market.
D) Challenged them intellectually.
- Identify the
characteristics of a
- Explain how the image
of the flapper embodied
the changing values and
attitudes of young women
in the 1920s.
A New Morality
Read pages 687-688... A New Morality
14) In what way was she (Flapper) a
continuation from an earlier period and
in what way was she new?
15) What sources were responsible for a
more open treatment of sexuality in the
16) What do sociological surveys from the
time suggest?
Women at the turn of
the century
Women in the 1920s
Flappers: What are the social and fashion characteristics
that define a flapper.
1920 Hair styles
January, 1923
How is the style
of the 1920s
reflected in this
A New Morality
13) What was the image of the flapper
and what was she in reality?
What promoted
the image of the
What was the
double standard
applied to
Anti-Flapper Laws
Utah - Fine or imprisonment for wearing skirts
higher than 3”above the ankle
Virginia - Woman can’t wear shirts or evening
gowns displaying more than 3” of throat
Ohio - No neckline more than 2” in depth & no
garment composed of any transparent
material to be sold
Women being arrested in 1922 for wearing
revealing bathing suits…
The uniqueness of the flapper was
that certain already existing cultural
elements became normal for:
A) Big city, upper class, women
B) Minority women
C) White middle–class women
D) Small isolated rural areas
E) White, poor, rural women

The 1920’s