This paper aims to explore the relationship between childhood, consumption and the Cold War in 1950s America and the Soviet Union. The author argues that Soviet and American leaders, businessmen, and politicians worked hard to convince parents that buying things for their children offered the easiest way to raise good American and Soviet kids and to do their part in waging the economic battles of the Cold War. The author explores how consumption became a Cold War battleground in the late 1950s and suggests that the history of childhood and Cold War consumption alters the way we understand the conflict itself.
Archival research in the USA and the Russian Federation along with close readings of Soviet and American advertisements offer sources for understanding the global discourse of consumption in the 1950s and 1960s.
Leaders, advertisers, and propagandists in the Soviet Union and the USA used the same images in the same ways to sell the ethos of consumption to their populations. They did this to sell the Cold War, to bolster the status quo, and to make profits.
This paper offers a previously unexplored, transnational perspective on the role that consumption and the image of the child played in shaping the Cold War both domestically and abroad.
Peacock, M. (2016), "Cold War consumption and the marketing of childhood in the Soviet Union and the United States, 1950-1960", Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, Vol. 8 No. 1, pp. 83-98. https://doi.org/10.1108/JHRM-05-2015-0015Download as .RIS
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