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Documents - Transformations of Culture and Consumption
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1.   Rock 'n' Roll and German Teenagers (Retrospective Account, 1980)
Musician Udo Lindenberg describes the electrifying impact that Elvis’s music had on him the first time he heard it on the radio. For Lindenberg, then a teenager,....
2.   State-Controlled Vacations in East Germany (May 23, 1963)
Whereas West Germans enjoyed freedom of travel, East Germans had to use trade-union coupons (so called vacation checks) or government travel agencies to plan their domestic....
3.   The New Youth Program of the Communist Party (September 21, 1963)
With its new youth program, the SED appealed to the idealism of young people who had been born in the GDR. The program plays with the promise of allowing youths more freedom in choosing their own....
4.   The Shift from Movies to Television in the Federal Republic (May 8, 1965)
West German cultural critics had mixed feelings about the shift from movies to television in the first half of the 1960s. They were ambivalent because they saw this change in leisure habits as indicative....
5.   The Communist Leadership’s Criticism of Rock' n' Roll Music as a Form of Western Subversion (October 13, 1963)
After riots in the rock 'n' roll scene, the Leipzig district leadership of the SED expressed its distaste for such youthful excesses. It placed the blame on Western influences and resolved to take....
6.   Cultural Repression by the SED Central Committee (December 1965)
Honecker was appalled by the disquiet that had accompanied prior liberalizations. Thus, under his leadership, the SED reverted to hard-line policies: it rejected demands for freedom of expression....
7.   A Union Justifies the Introduction of the Forty-Hour Work Week (1966)
A spearhead of organized labor, the German metalworkers’ union [IG Metall] fought for the reduction of the work week to forty hours. According to the union, this step would strengthen workers’....
8.   A Sociological Analysis of the Spread of Affluence (1974)
In the early 1970s, economic growth in the Federal Republic led to significant increases in wages and social welfare payments, prompting sociologist M. Rainer Lepsius to speak of the emergence of....
9.   Government Advice on German Behavior Abroad (August 3, 1978)
A journalist pokes fun at a campaign by the Federal Press Office. The campaign urged German tourists to behave well during foreign vacations, so as not to bolster anti-German prejudices in neighboring....
10.   Currency Problems Faced by East German Vacationers (August 30, 1980)
A West German observer describes the difficulties faced by a growing number of East German tourists abroad. The problems were caused by the weakness of the GDR currency and the superior wealth of....
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