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Atomic Alert! Narrative atomarer Bedrohung im Kalten Krieg


Tomkowiak, Ingrid (2020). Atomic Alert! Narrative atomarer Bedrohung im Kalten Krieg. In: Roeder, Caroline. Parole(n) - Politische Dimensionen von Kinder- und Jugendmedien. Switzerland: Springer, 297-309.

Abstract

This article focusses on educational brochures and films produced in the United States between 1945 and 1970, when the country was facing possible nuclear attack. Many of these publications, most of them provided by the US Civil Defense Administration, appeal to the whole family and deliberately address children. The threat, omnipresent during these years of the Cold War, was felt to be exceedingly real, and Americans felt that they should be prepared for a nuclear attack, should know how to guard against the danger, and should know how to survive the disaster. From today’s point of view, these publications, with their simplifications and omissions, are often perceived as rather amusing representatives of the post-war mentality. But they are far from being naive. They provide insight into the government’s efforts to prepare the American people for the possibility of a nuclear war while at the same time lulling the people into a sense of safety. They also disclose social attitudes, such as the expected relationship of the individual to the community, or given gender roles. The importance of the individual for the whole society is conveyed – of child, man, woman, and family for the community as well as for the whole nation.

Abstract

This article focusses on educational brochures and films produced in the United States between 1945 and 1970, when the country was facing possible nuclear attack. Many of these publications, most of them provided by the US Civil Defense Administration, appeal to the whole family and deliberately address children. The threat, omnipresent during these years of the Cold War, was felt to be exceedingly real, and Americans felt that they should be prepared for a nuclear attack, should know how to guard against the danger, and should know how to survive the disaster. From today’s point of view, these publications, with their simplifications and omissions, are often perceived as rather amusing representatives of the post-war mentality. But they are far from being naive. They provide insight into the government’s efforts to prepare the American people for the possibility of a nuclear war while at the same time lulling the people into a sense of safety. They also disclose social attitudes, such as the expected relationship of the individual to the community, or given gender roles. The importance of the individual for the whole society is conveyed – of child, man, woman, and family for the community as well as for the whole nation.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:790 Sports, games & entertainment
390 Customs, etiquette & folklore
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
Language:English, German
Date:2020
Deposited On:20 Jan 2021 15:09
Last Modified:20 Jan 2021 17:38
Publisher:Springer
ISBN:978-3-476-04847-9
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-476-04848-6_2

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