Baylor College Medical School

112 .4. Postwar social changes

112 .4. In reaction to World War I, society and culture in the United States and elsewhere underwent rapid changes. During the 1920s, new technologies helped create a mass culture, and to connect people around the world. American culture was characterized by a greater freedom and willingness to experiment. One symbol of this new age was jazz, with its original sound and improvisations, and it gave the age its name--the Jazz Age. Another symbol was the liberated young woman called the flapper. Labor-saving devices freed women from household chores. IN THIS NEW ERA OF EMANCIPATION, WOMEN PURSUED CAREER. Not everyone approved of the freer lifestyle of the Jazz Age, however. For example, Prohibition was meant to keep people from the negative effects of drinking. Instead, it brought about organized crime and speakeasies.

New literature reflected a powerful disgust with war. To some postwar writers, the war symbolized the moral breakdown of Western civilization. Other writers experimented with stream of consciousness. In the cultural movement called the Harlem Renaissance, African American artists and writers expressed pride in their culture and explored their experiences in their work.

New scientific discoveries challenged long-held ideas. Marie Curie and others found that atoms of certain elements spontaneously release charged particles. Albert Einstein argued that measurements of space and time are not absolute. Italian physicist Enrico Fermi discovered atomic fission. A Scottish scientist, Alexander Fleming, discovered penicillin, a nontoxic mold that killed bacteria. It paved the way for the development of antibiotics to treat infections. Sigmund Freud pioneered psychoanalysis, a method of studying how the mind works and treating mental illness.

In the early 1900s, many Western artists rejected traditional styles that tried to reproduce the real world. For example, Vasily Kandinsky's work was called abstract. It was composed only of lines, colors, and shapes--sometimes with no visually recognizable subject. Dada artists rejected tradition and believe that there was no sense or truth in the world. Another movement, surrealism, tried to portray the workings of the unconscious mind. In architecture, to portray the workings of the unconscious mind. In architecture, Bauhaus buildings based on form and function featured glass, steel, and concrete, but little ornamentation.

Question 4. What does the word emancipation mean in the Capitalized sentence?

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This means freedom for woman to break the bonds of old gender roles.