Date of Award

Spring 2019

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

History

First Advisor

Dr. Jennifer Smith

Second Advisor

Dr. Tamara Spike

Third Advisor

Ms. Rosann Kent

Abstract

The 1960s and 1970s were a time of immense change in the United States as clamorous social movements and subcultures pushed the boundaries of traditional society that became complacent after World War II while the conservative majority held tighter to their roots. However, the most memorable and progressive aspects of these decades, such as the Civil Rights movement, rock and roll, and flower children, represented a small minority of the overall American populace. The majority of Americans hunkered down and closed ranks, protecting themselves and their families from the impending threat of Communism and the loss of tradition. A horror movie renaissance arose that fed on the fears of Cold War America and reinforced the increased desire for comfort in tradition. Movers and shakers produced media that heavily represented women in new and complex ways, striking fears into the immutable majority and providing cautionary tales to women trying to move outside of the home and back into the work force. Horror movies give the most effective platform for analyzing the fears of Americans, especially when discussing gender.

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