Constructing a Culture



In the years following World War II (1945 - 1955), film and print media created sources geared at the newly acknowledged teenage audience. In order to contain the rapidly expanding group, adults chose to "construct a culture" by impressing white, bourgeois values on the teens. 

"Constructing a Culture" was created by four graduate students enrolled in Professor Roshanna Sylvester's "Doing Digital History" course at DePaul University (HST 438 & DHS 460).

Using the course theme: "How to be Popular?" as our guide, each contributor selected and researched one primary-source piece of media. After composing an essay detailing our source in context, and adding our media to an Omeka site, our final project was to create a Scalar site that envelops the theme of postwar teenage life. 


Each contributor was responsible for research on his or her own primary-source material. After brainstorming the theme for Scalar, students collaborated to incorporate their individual research and develop the website. 

Graduate Student Background

Micah Ariel
Micah is a Pre-Service Teacher in the College of Education at DePaul University. His research centers on educational history from the end of World War I through the end of World War II and the immediate post-war period, with a specific focus on the funding of education and the implementation and development of Audio-Visual Education. His contributions to the Scalar project include original research on Audio-Visual education and analysis of primary source documents. 

Maureen Kudlik
Maureen is a Masters in English Literature and Digital Humanities Graduate student. Maureen focuses on the rise of teenagers in photojournalist Nina Leen's photo-essay, "Tulsa Twins: They Show how much the Teen-age World has Changed". Under the subheading, "Creating a Visual Culture through Print Media," Maureen discusses the biography of LIFE magazine, photojournalist Nina Leen, and explores the promotion of teenage conformity through uniformity in fashion and gender roles during the post-WW II era.

Jessica Martinez
Currently enrolled in the College of Education program at DePaul University seeking a degree in Secondary Education. Jessica focused on the use of film in the classroom as a means to educate teenage youth on sensitive and taboo topics. Contributions include the review of "A New Film Helps Girls," found in The Education Screen, and the Disney film The Story of Menstruation

Vince Sandri
Vince is a Masters in History student that focused on educational philosophy during the Cold War through analysis of the educational film "Freedom to Learn," the review for this film printed in Educational Screen: The Audio-Visual Magazine, and additional secondary sources. Vince's contributions to this project include descriptions of these two primary sources as well as the context essays for the Life Adjustment Movement and McCarthyism in Education pages.
Creative Commons License
Constructing A Culture by Ariel, M.; Kudlik, M.; Martinez, J.; Sandri, V. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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