Eras Journal – Freame, J: Abstract

Abstract of Freame, J.,”Female Film Stars and the Dominant Ideologies of 1950s America”.

During the 1950s, the fear and paranoia associated with Cold War anti-communism and the nuclear arms race resulted in the dominance of conservative ideologies within American society. In particular, women became symbols of the freedom and democracy that required protection from outside forces while the idealisation of the nuclear family and its related values relied heavily on traditional gender roles. This article argues that female film stars played a pivotal role in representing and reinforcing these dominant ideologies to the American people within the complex and ambiguous context of the 1950s. An exploration of the very different, yet equally popular, images of Marilyn Monroe and Doris Day reveals the intrinsic relationship between Hollywood and the dominant ideologies of the American nation.