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The individual American conscious of his nation rich in tangible goods and powerful in potential resources and yet smothered under the pressures of people and machinery caught up in the hustle of urban centers the American view was his life. By his Honestly there's no doubt about that. In contrast to people say in Europe or in Asia either opportunity is not great enough or where the rewards are not great enough to find the American he is out to improve not only his financial but his educational background his opportunities in general and particularly to improve the opportunities for his children ahead of him. Thank you. Thank you. The impact of America has felt by the individual. The America of material
progress and the America of social change. The impact of natural resources products people and machinery upon the American himself. This document was produced and recorded by the University of Southern California under a grant from the Educational Television and Radio Center in cooperation with the National Association of educational broadcasters. In industrial machinery generating hundreds crowding the workday with overpowering. Physical. Russians a mid century urban America. People pressing in speed adding tension complex relationships causing confusion. A life varied and at the same time. Routine. Influences of social change is in conflict with
individual needs and desires. The American character caught between the demands of environment and the desires of self. Electric power giving light. This nation rich in the products of industry still powerful in resources water land minerals. America rich in things and abundance of the tangible objects of everyday existence. Communities of factories supermarkets and subdivisions and Richmond through the machinery of 20th century technology. With all this gain has something been lost. Close personal relationships of an earlier rural time. The stimulation of mind was made more difficult by an impersonal existence a
free flow of ideas. The intellectual America. But Creative America. What I would say to Creative America is as rich as the material America we probably are richer in. Creative ideas than any one particular nation today from the standpoint of involving big populations but I think yes well this is my own feeling about a relationship between these two. It's becoming more and more difficult in an age of technological development to get a flow of ideas back and forth in public now we're in a political year let's use this as an example. How do people get their opinions. How do they arrive at their opinions. How do they arrive at these ideas they live in a technological age. And we have all sorts of ways of getting to the theoretically that we didn't have before. But when a man gets on the street car down here in the Jefferson Jaycar for
example rides down on you today he has of his opinions ready made for him he picks up a newspaper. Here's the news already made four of the commentators already commented on it. The editorial us comment on it. He gets off a street car is opinions made for him. But here's the thing we like which we did not like in the past year all day before the 1900s. We like that Cracker Barrel exchange of ideas. Now the old Chautauqua used to have it the Lyceum movement used to have it where the they were called the People's colleges even up to the 1920s over 20 million Americans were in volved in Chautauqua courses these are people not going to college or anything where they would sit down and there'd be a cross flow of ideas there'd be panels instructors questions asked people participating round table discussions. Now that is virtually lost and the politicians who go out in the hustings today are constantly giving off their ideas television and other ways. But there's no flow back from the people to the
politician we're losing that. Glenn Frank when he was president University of Chicago 1919 said that in his opinion this was the greatest obstacle to the free flow of ideas in the future he saw it coming. The development of technology meant we lose the two way flow of ideas. The machinery of war once mechanized now becomes automated. And in the process working people rapidly pursued the new technology ever in fear of being left behind. Values of a rural America tend to lose themselves in the race stuff urban life. The values of stability and self-expression of man close to the freshness of soil die. The need to integrate universal values and present conditions. I think that probably one of the very things that the individual's
do is through. Modify his value system. I think that probably we're still putting too much emphasis upon the accumulation of money our great value it seems to me should be placed on health and therefore if we look forward to becoming a healthier nation rather than just merely a wealthier nation all of us might be better off and planning what we could do to get healthier instead of just mere accumulation of wealth. I think we in this generation are given over to securing so much money at the very great expense of health. It may become known as a.
Nation of OutServe own individual. A goodly share of the people that I see are really products. I think more of the depression than either of the wars. The insecurity the lack of something to hold onto it seemed to me was so great in the lives of so many young people especially those that are in the 30s now. They weathered through that depression. And they're the foundations of life seem to be so shaky for those people that I see it all the time. I see young people who either say oh let's live it up it will be gone anyway or we have to be so careful we have to be where they're afraid to spend money they're afraid of a of a loss of financial security particularly.
I think that it's an exceptional family that wasn't hit by that. And the young children who had to go without who went through the horrors of daddy being on those EPA soup lines of losing homes that were supposedly as secure as any could be. The machinery of work increase the tension. Yes rendering labor less fatigue. I just use stored time at work and time of late changing with the nature of constant attempts with the technology. Constant changes in relationships with people at work made necessary by the improvement. In the first place about the machine the work task grows so
strenuous that probably a good deal of the strength was left in the factory and then of course the hours were long misremember they pay you with a little maybe some were even forced to work two jobs. We've also got to remember that what we said before about leisure being frowned upon made individuals want to take up some very difficult work tasks to keep. Themselves busy where at the pier of the pyramid. Yes the Puritan I was assuming as the two little hands are fit to work. They should be put to work so that the mouth will be well fed. The impact of people groups of people upon the individual people rushing
through the speed of urban life pressing in and untangling demanding people coworkers business associates the on ending street specialized groups making more scarce that valuable resource time. A basic need to replace the growing impersonal ism of relationships with more binding ties. Car says urbanization has grown a pace I think probably that. We have felt the need for our closer relationships without being able to attain desirable relationships in the smaller communities. And everybody felt that everyone else was a real neighbor
in the anonymity of the city. You do strive to look for are beings who will be like minded. Therefore I think you have to work harder for socialization these days than you did when. Communities were small when. There seemed to be. More much Marc cooperation probably there is too much living alone. That is the reason why I would advocate community enterprises such as indulging in community playhouses community workshops probably community leisure spots. And anything that will bring the community together. Community Forums are good
for instance. The demands of people upon the individual demands that often appear reasonable and are always time consuming. The American character overcome by pressures must fulfill his own desires his own personal individual needs. This person has to. Do considerable searching and studying and worrying and. Has to is this has to be. Constantly on the search for the things which will help him find this orientation. He may read widely. The mass media television radio the thing. The
newspapers in the magazine may all provide means by which he can find these differentiations and he may be if he is especially sensitive person may find that he is. Without knowing it. Constantly being aware of the things that society demands and the things that is his particular pattern of values either from tradition or by the impingement of society about him make necessary. But this is. Not always the case. Because. We are trained in the society and urban society to use the mass media. We have as it were radar set constantly tune into the way people react. And these people give us an awareness of what. Society demands. But they dont necessarily always give us an awareness of ourselves
of what we really need inside. And so the church's role in the urban society. Is to try to relate to traditional great values. The values. Of all time. The timeless ones the universal ones. To the society in which the person has to live and work. Energy that'll land and water natural resources regarded by the American in terms of need the satisfaction of turning a faucet and getting water flicking a switch and changing dark to light and driving to a park or staying home. We just don't go to the market we know what to eat outside we in our backyard about what we've done up to Irvine park several times but it's nothing like it was when we were children there was seemed like there was lots of room
and and we'd run through the park and play on everything and now it's so crowded up there. We went up several months ago and it was so crowded up there we couldn't find any place and finally we had to sit down some we and with nettles on m that we were scratching all the time we ate and then the day when the children they couldn't get near the. Playing equipment so they climbed up the hill along the way and wave down to me and I went up to them and then they came back now and we came home because it was so crowded you couldn't even play and it's a huge park. Well I gather stay home. Oh the money. The resources of the community competing for time
clubs service groups political organizations school meetings the pressures of groups calling for participation in the mounting number of community activities. Traditional uses of time seeping from the past tend to stabilize the pressures and personal needs. Are fulfilled. I guess the YWCA brought into being a little club that may belong to a bridge club of course and that is my passion of playing bridge is one of the big things I. Own. Consequently I guess I haven't spent too much time in joining clubs I've been busy and haven't had we joined a lodge and we enjoy that but that's just I don't know. The pace is so swift today that it doesn't seem like you have time to get a room to doing too many you know.
When I have my grandchildren my children too that I like to spend some time with. Any. Indications of neural influences of personalized relationships. An earlier day when relationships among people were more than adjacent. When people work together not merely next to each other. These relationships can be found today rising above the pressures of social acceptability. Or the relationship between. The physician and. The people with my work. Right because we are in our you know. Our nurses and. The help that. We come in contact with daily. Very well we know. Our. Area what. Problems. Are. With themselves and sometimes with their
families and we understand them quite well. Can often not. Understand the way they act. Times. Many times they know us just about as well as they we know them so that there is a very close relationship between. Tween memories and work closely. With one another in many sessions. The machinery of war. Seen in terms of decisions. The automatic nature of work. Saving. Time. Giving increased. Worker comfort. With greater precision the decreasing need for artists skilled in the use of hand tools the impersonal nature of the work as machine replaced tool as the role of the worker
changes. They are great machines especially in our factories automation has progressed at such a rapid pace that in our factories and even in business offices people have to handle machines. And these are perceiving machines. These machines have affected the personal problems of these workers. Some were thrown out of work of course because they cannot operate the machines. The machinery of social organization regarded by the individual in terms of his attitudes toward groups of people and availability of
time a constant change of attitudes as new situations arise. The mounting demands of people. The competition of interests a basic need to make adjustments to make valid decisions in the face of confusion. Thank you. Thank you. Well of course it seems almost tried to say that we live in a fast age and the demands of society are quite great in terms of speed as well as in degree. But it is true that the average individual has to make rapid adjustments. He has to be either were almost a radar screen past and Les says to draw the permutations of the environment things that impinge directly upon him from many sources through the mass media
who is many contacts and. The average person will have a great number of business contacts if he is in a business he'll have so many contacts during the day that he may never see again. They are persons that he has never seen before and there are people that he has to make instant judgments about in order to sell his product in order to achieve the relationship that he desires in order to accomplish his mission. So he has to become an artist in judging the reactions of people as a result of this he becomes very sensitive to the cues that they beat out the way they look the way they hold their mouth the way they move
the things they respond to the things they say the way they dress. All these things become cues to him so that he. Whether it without thinking of it actually without even making a conscious effort to do so is very sensitive. These things he has to do this in order to orient himself. Now this I think is one of the most important changes that our society makes upon a person. The change in reaction to individuals as he gets in new types of situations. The products of mid-century technology and social living attention speed personal mobility complexity. And time time that pressing of technological progress is devoted to more leisure activities
but demands upon time increase in numbers. Pressures increase. And the tensions caused by constant adjustments as the rate of change increases. The individual is pressed forward so that he is overtaken by speed. Too much speed may increase tension to the find for providing for a very short existence on earth. It may make far a lack of thorough investigation may cripple reflective thinking a certain way in an age of speed we don't get the opportunity for our meditation and contemplation that we need so far as realizing what are the real values of both the
living and social living. Rising above the pressures for conformity the demands of people the speed of urban living. The individual may find enrichment. If he longs for something that seems unattainable. If the rich world of material things pleases. But does not satisfy. He may join the search for greater intellectual achievement for personal satisfaction and of trading the pressures of concentrated living. He may search and he may find.
Just like you could hardly wait. Rising above pressures the challenge of mid-century America a strenuous life its objection to routine the changes in roles the impersonal nature of groups. These may be overcome values of an earlier America integrate with present stability in progress. Sameness in change and harmony in difference. The individual can be recognised in the driving race of mid-century America. Have you ever you become. A
good. Mormon. Individual American conscious of his nation rich in tangible goods and powerful in potential resources and yet smothered under the pressures of people and machinery caught up in the hustle of urban centers. The American view is his life. Thought my. Cooperating in the production of this program were physicians of the Orange County Medical Association. The faculty and administration of the University of Southern California and the university Methodist Church. This program was written by Donna price directed by Edward de Roux and produced by Stuart Cooney. The American view is his life was recorded by the University of Southern California under a grant from the Educational Television and Radio Center. This program is distributed by the
National Association of educational broadcasters. And if this is anywhere right. Now it is be the Radio Network.
Fifty years of growth
The American views his life
Producing Organization
University of Southern California
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
The American character joins the search for personal satisfaction amidst the plastic nature of groups. He penetrates change and accepts the challenge of his era.
Series Description
A series of documentaries on industrial change in the U.S.
Broadcast Date
Social Issues
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Director: Deroux, Edward
Narrator: Kuralt, Charles, 1934-1997
Producer: Cooney, Stuart
Producing Organization: University of Southern California
Writer: Price, Donald
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 57-54-12 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:28:55
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Chicago: “Fifty years of growth; The American views his life,” 1957-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 29, 2024,
MLA: “Fifty years of growth; The American views his life.” 1957-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 29, 2024. <>.
APA: Fifty years of growth; The American views his life. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from