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Post-War Britain - Essay Example

As the world embraced modernity in terms of pop culture, literacy levels were raised following national concerns about education, the wide expansion of American media and nationalism, the urbanisation of the population, the continued regional attitudes of the British people and the widespread distribution and concentration of television sets, British nationalism was destined to evolve after the War.
One of the major features of the post-war era in Britain was the establishment of what remains now pop culture. It has been the focus of artists, writers and the media at large; in fact in the years immediately following the war, British citizens became very avid fiction readers. Through popular novels, Brits were able to not only see themselves through the eyes of the world but in terms of their own countrymen. Through literature, it became possible for the different regions of Great Britain, traditionally isolated from one another due to a lack of stable, consistent communication and media, to understand one another and what made them different and the same as each other (Parry 1997).
Another facet of the evolving pop culture in Britain after the war was brought on by television; various game shows, soap operas and other entertainment began to occupy the minds of British citizens, and their focus shifted to the lives of celebrities where once it had remained primarily on their families and communities (Strinati and Wagg 1992). Through this change of focus, the British media began to have a larger impact on civilians than ever before; newspapers had been a popular medium for years before the war, however now the choice of newspapers, tabloids, television shows and radio meant that more and more people were able to keep in touch with the styles of outlying regions and countries. British people were able to see the world around them more clearly, and because of this they were able to establish their own, defining brand of style, literature, art, economy, politics and lifestyle in general.
Richard Hoggart believed that pop culture was "full of corrupt brightness" that distracted people from the more integral of the media (cited by Levine 2006). What he saw was a nation becoming more and more defined by its celebrities and their outrageous behaviour, when the British population might have benefited from better attention to education, and in particular, literacy. Literacy levels in Great Britain were historically on par with most other European nations, in that the aristocracy had access to reading and writing tutors while the working class did not. The presentation of pop culture through media such as television and film meant that the majority of British citizens after the war focused their attentions on the new aristocracy of the times: the celebrities. These people became the definition of what it meant to be British, and despite regional differences it was the stars of the screen that pulled the country together as a nation.
In the decades after the Second World War, literacy became one of the focal points of the British government and the education ...Show more
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Following the Second World War, Great Britain faced a restructuring of its own national identity. Whereas the years prior to the War had been labelled largely by the Victorian era of gentility, the might of the British army and the British Commonwealth nations spread across the globe - Great Britain prided itself on strength and economic superiority under its monarchy…
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