The aim of this book is to explain to readers how and why, in the postwar period, East and West German encounters with American popular culture were crucial to constructions of German identities in the two states. The project places the conflicts between adolescents and authorities over American cultural influences in the context of the legacy of National Socialism and the emerging Cold War. The whole study focuses on the most controversial U.S. imports, which constituted the most debated aspects of consumer culture for both East and West Germans. There are two interconnected concerns which shaped the battles within and between the two German states over American influences: (1) East and West German authorities perceived American cultural imports as a threat to established gender norms; and (2) in responding to American popular culture, which often had roots in African American culture, Germans confronted their own notions of racial hierarchies.
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