Listeners in the 1930s came to rely upon radio.
But Americans did not fully accept the standardized meanings—of radio or their mass culture more generally. From the consolidation of corporations to the establishment of Progressive regulatory bodies to the organization of sports leagues, centralized power became increasingly visible and able to enact common standards for a widening swath of society. As individuals became more and more intertwined in a lattice of people, institutions, and events beyond their own direct experiences, they found their interactions becoming more abstract and important relationships less personally based; they found meaningful access to the public sphere harder to come by.1920's - What The Future Will Look Like
The mass production of culture that radio made possible enabled a few broadcasters to blanket the nation. A few moments later, the announcer introduced a reporter and professor Richard Pierson.
And in the end, listeners heard the mighty Martians vanquished by bacteria for which their alien immune systems had no defenses. Consequently, the mass communication radio made possible might be essential. As the world most Americans inhabited grew, they came to find that traditional personal connections were decreasingly effective resources and that traditional ways of speaking in public no longer provided them with meaningful voices.
And more than that: As Americans incorporated broadcasting into their lives and found a sense of autonomy and perhaps voice in their new mass culture, they engaged in a process that generated powerful changes. Through radio, listeners remade the frightening public sphere in comfortable and comprehensible private terms.
In the face of such problems, Americans often found they could draw upon the leading purveyor of their new culture: The dramatic expansion of the railroads in the decades from the Civil War to World War I, for instance, brought far-flung locales more firmly into a national economic web.
These transitions were in their infancy, even by the 1920s.
They had come to believe in the possibility of—and need for—genuine communication with a collective audience. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the consent of the University of Chicago Press.
By the end of the 1920s, many people who only a few decades earlier would have only rarely traveled beyond walking distance had access to cars or other mechanical transportation. Of course they accepted what they heard, they declared: But at the same time, radio could familiarize that mass world.
Radio In The 1930s For the radio, the 1930s was a golden age. Businesses and advertisers early in the twentieth century began seeking ways to inspire mass consumption. This eroded lines between the public and private spheres, making it more difficult to distinguish public and private and to determine separate priorities and behaviors for each.