This dissertation, a social and cultural history of media and education in postwar Philadelphia, examines the concurrent struggles against racial discrimination on American
Bandstand and in the city's public high schools. Unlike studies that look at either popular culture or education, I look at how media producers and school board officials racialized young people
as both media consumers and students and how teenagers responded to this racialization. Through archival documents, oral histories, and socio-historical analysis of television programs, films,
and photographs, I examine how young people experienced popular culture and education differently according to their race, and how national and local media represented these teenagers. By
concentrating on popular culture and schools as important sites in the fight against racial discrimination, I show how the policies and practices of American Bandstand's producers and the
Philadelphia school board facilitated de facto segregation in television and high schools while being nominally progressive on issues of race. I also show how American Bandstand constructed an
image of a national youth culture that excluded young people of color and obscured the work of Philadelphians who fought against racial discrimination. By situating American Bandstand in postwar
Philadelphia this project locates new points of intersection among urban history, media studies, youth history, civil rights history, and educational history.
"American Bandstand and School Segregation in Postwar Philadelphia"
American Studies Theses and Dissertations.
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