By Michele Rosenthal (auth.)
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Extra resources for American Protestants and TV in the 1950s: Responses to a New Medium
71 For The Christian Century editors turning off the TV was the only form of resistance to mass culture they felt comfortable advocating. While there were occasional editorials urging the church to be involved in FCC policymaking, for the most part television was just ignored. The editors, like many others in the secular elite, could not see beyond their own print culture. ”72 In the post–World War II period, mainline Protestant hegemony was challenged like never 34 American Protestants and TV in the 1950s before.
Perhaps the social meanings attributed to the radio or television were somehow different than those attributed to the nineteenth-century forms of commercial culture. 7 Likewise, accounts that emphasize structural developments in broadcasting, and innovations in computer technologies that eventually favored conservative Protestant approaches to media, do not adequately explain why mainline Protestants refused to adapt to those changes. 8 The reasons for this transition are far from self-evident.
13 Until World War II, in the religious, and more importantly, the public religious realm, Protestant dominance in America had been (and many would argue that it continues to be) a relatively steady social assumption. At the turn of the century, millions of Catholic and Jewish immigrants (particularly in urban centers such as New York) challenged this assumption. 14 Despite these legal attempts to preserve their majority, Protestant leaders would soon find their assumption of cultural (if not numerical) dominance called into question.
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