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Discuss the concept of "domestic containment". How did this concept operate in 1950's-1960's America? Why was it destined to ultimately fail? Give an example of one of the values present in domestic containment, and explain why it did not apply to the increasingly independent youth culture during the 1960's.


Student response:

Domestic containment was introduced during the period of the Cold War between the United States and Russia.  The concept was to keep America strong by focusing on a family structure of a working husband and a wife who stayed at home to care for the kids.  Domestic containment was destined to fail due to the resilience of women.  Women wanted to eliminate the gender discrepancies and even though improvements have been made, gender roles remain a hot button item.  Gretchen Ritter wrote, "many Americans are also thinking about how gender roles define our national identity in the twenty-first century." (Ritter 2009)  Youth culture in the 1960's wanted the opportunity to think for themselves which didn't coincide with domestic containment.  The idea that women would stay at home to care for the house and kids was not appealing to the youth of that time.


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