August 8th, 2008

American Culture and Slang in 1950

I'm writing a story that takes place in Binghamton, New York in 1950.  I really want to make my story as historically accurate as possible, so I've been trying to research American culture during that year.  The problem I'm running into, however, is that most of my google searches are just finding sites about the 1950s in general.  I'm afraid to use a lot of that information because I know most of it took place later in the decade.  I tried to google 1940s, but I'm only getting stuff about America during WWII. 

The main thing I'm interested in is the slang of the time period.  Would general slang from the 1950s work or would it be too "modern."  And, would 1940s slang be too old-fashioned?

Also, how would American culture have changed three years after the war?  I know that the Red Scare is going on, but that's about it.  (I also learned in my limited research that Binghamton was the 7th most likely target of a nuclear attack, so I will factor that in.)  How similiar is the culture of 1950 to the culture of the 1950s in general?

My main google searches have been "1950s culture" "1940s culture" "1950 america" "'post WWII' culture" "1950s slang" "1940s slang."

Thank you!

Child abuse in 1940s; actions taken

Setting: 1940s US
Googled terms: child welfare + 1940s, child protection services, foster care + 1940s, child abuse + 1940s, social workers, foster care, society's attitude towards abuse + 1940s, etc. Plus I poked around in the tags on this community. Perhaps I just haven't come up with the right search terms but I'm a little stuck.

The deal with my story is that I have a young boy taken in by an unmarried man; there are rumours of sexual relations/abuse, which are exacerbated by the boy sometimes missing school/showing up with injuries and his caregiver's distinctly unparental attitude (very carefree and fun-loving, not known for responsibility or any other similar qualities). If someone said something, could it provoke inspection by social services or other people/get the boy taken away from his guardian? Who would people say something to- would they contact the police or social services or what? Could the boy end up in foster care? Is it plausible for this sort of thing to be reported, considering the time? If it helps any, his guardian is incredibly well known in the city they live in and is therefore under the constant eye of the upper class/newspapers/everybody else.

Basically, my goal is to get the boy taken away from his guardian under the suspicion (not 100% fact, though it should pretty much seem that way) that he is being abused. My research has shown me that social services was in somewhat more early stages in the 1940s than it was today; I don't want to make the mistake of assuming that modern procedures for this sort of situation were used in that time period.
Thanks!

Questions about counselors and psychology

My character is in the hospital with multiple gun shot wounds after surviving a particularly heinous armed robbery. Would a counselor provided by the hospital come by and try to talk with her while she is still in the hospital? My character has some memory loss, caused by her injuries and the trauma of what happened. What she does remember, she is reticent to talk about. She says that she doesn't want to remember. What would a counselor do or say to get her to talk about it?

Would the hospital / family, withhold information from her about the crime in order to make her less upset? When she's released, what steps would the hospital take (if any) to keep the press away from her once she's released.

Finally, what should she do once she is out of the hospital? Would she find a counselor through a victim's assistance program or could she, theoretically, find one on her own? Again, what tactics would a counselor use to help her deal with what's happened to her...especially if she's skeptical about going to see a counselor in the first place?

I tried googling "counseling victims violent crime" (and a bunch of other terms a few days ago that I don't remember off-hand) but all I got were programs that worked with victims of violent crime...not articles describing what exactly counselors do. I did, however, get some interesting information on how victims of violent crime tend to react that might be of some use to me. My story is written in the first person and takes the form of a blog.

Comedians in Strip Clubs (history of).

Hi all. I used to use this site ages ago, and had a question I can't answer so thought I'd come back here.

My story is set in Vancouver in the late 1980's, early 1990's, though I'm not too specific on the date yet, and I am altering history a little so the details don't have to be 100% accurate, because I am working on the premise that stand-up comedy didn't take off as much as it did.

I have seen mentioned in passing that some comedians worked stand-up in strip clubs back in the 1970's/80's. I have seen this on a couple of different sites but I'm not sure how accurate that information is.

What I was trying to find out, is:

Is this the case? Was it common/did it ever happen for a comedian to work stand up in a strip club?
If so, would this be on a different night to the strip shows/would it be on the same night at the end, beginning, or in between performances?
Would this likely be a 'gentleman's club' type place, or a more seedy type place or could it be either?
Would they likely be badly received or would this be a popular thing?

It doesn't necessarily have to have happened in Vancouver at this time, as long as it happened somewhere in Canada or the US I guess.

And really, any other information on this topic. I'd love maybe the names of some places that this happened in, just for research purposes.

Hell if you were in a strip club in this time period in Vancouver, some information on that would be helpful, just any interesting details.

I cannot find *any* information on this, which is making me think it didn't actually ever happen, but then I know my google-flu is weak. I've searched 'comedians in strip clubs', 'history of stand up', '"stand up comedy" "strip clubs"', and other similar searches but I really can't seem to get anything more than comedy club information, basic information on stand-up comedy and strip clubs separately and the odd dodgy website. So if you can offer other search terms that would also be helpful!

Thank you in advance for any information you can offer.

Japanese surnames with colors

Where/When: Japan, early 2000s
Searches tried combinations of "Japanese," "color," "kanji," "names" and "surnames"

I'm trying to compile a list of Japanese surnames with color kanji in them, but my searches haven't turned up much.

What I've found: Kurosawa- black swamp
Tachibana- wild orange
Himura- scarlet village
Maki- black pine

I haven't found kanji for those, but so long as those are the correct translation, I don't need the actual kanji.

The reason is that I write for a fandom where the canon characters all have names like that: Shirogane, Akasaka, Aoyama, Meguro, Aizawa, Midorikawa, Akai, Shirayuki, Fujiwara, and Momomiya.

I'm also looking for names with words that can also be used as color (i.e., momo-iro, fuji-iro) like those last two. Thank you!

This might be too esoteric even for here...

Hi! Newbie here; I discovered the comm through an LJ friend's post. My question is both simple and (I think, anyway) hard:

Can anyone tell me someone--real or fictional--known for shooting their cuffs? ("Shooting your cuffs": to jerk your arms out straight, so that the shirt cuff appears below the sleeves of your suit jacket.)

I found one source that mentioned that Johnny Carson used to, but I never saw his show. Does anyone remember that about him?

For the record, my characters are in their mid-60's now, so really anything from about the 60's through today would work.

Searched:
"Shooting his cuffs"/"shot his cuffs"/"shoot his cuffs"
Several "Tonight Show" monologues (to see if Johnny Carson did it)
Tags:

summer fashion, late 1970's, England

(long time lurker with no information to give -- some of this stuff is way over my head. hah.)

A little piece I'm writing involves snippets from my character's past. It's mostly a flashback sort of thing, while she's living on the southern coast of England.

It is set in the late 1970's (1977-79), during summer. What type of clothing would both male and females have worn during that time? The boy leaning towards the more rebel/punk image, the girl just normal fashion (nothing fancy, just plain, boring).

Also, what type of bathing suits were appropriate? Bikinis? Were they called bikinis? Same for the guys - would they have just worn swimming 'trunks' (ooh, i hate that word)?
What sort of sleepwear would people have worn? Especially during the summer.

I researched a bunch of things, about fashion circa 1970's but it drew a blank. I didn't want to Google anything about the bathing suit, or pajamas - I'm paranoid of finding inappropriate sites. Hah.

Any help would be really, really appreciated.