Presley, Yes-Ulbricht, No?

Uta G. Poiger

in Jazz, Rock, and Rebels

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2000 | ISBN: 9780520211384
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520920088 | DOI:
Presley, Yes-Ulbricht, No?

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When rock 'n' roll crossed the Atlantic to Germany in the second half of the 1950s, it brought only rioting young men and young women into the public eye. Three interconnected concerns shaped East and West German reaction to rock 'n' roll: (1) worries about uncontrolled female sexuality; (2) male aggression; and (3) perceptions of racial difference. The public behavior of female rock 'n' roll fans at dances and concerts and in the streets challenged the traditional norms of female respectability that authorities in East and West Germany had made central to their respective reconstruction efforts. Rock 'n' roll challenged East and West German constructions of national identity because Germans saw it as a black or black-influenced music that undermined gender norms.

Keywords: Germany; female fans; male aggression; rock 'n' roll; music

Chapter.  14291 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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