Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Michael Faubion

Second Advisor

Dr. Sonia Hernandez

Third Advisor

Dr. Megan Birk


I have examined jazz music in the United States during the 1950s and argue that its popularity in various demographics illustrates that despite social and racial tensions jazz unified them. By explaining this we learn that Jazz’s popularity with different groups reflects not only jazz’s ever present flexibility but how societal values and issues are shown respectively. A brief background of the U.S during the 1950s, three key definitions for the nonconformist, conformist and purist as well as a brief history of jazz during the 1950s can be found in the introduction. Chapter II through IV deals with the specific categories respectively. Jazz is difficult to define and it is my goal to provide some context, clarity and deeper understanding of this genre. I discovered that Jazz is a vehicle to help understand the social make up of our country during one of the most nostalgic decades in the country.


Copyright 2013 Amanda Canales. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American