After the use of nuclear weapons in WW2, the world was introduced to the new threat and possibility of a society being completely annihilated and wiped off the face of the earth. The historical period that ensued after WW2 was the cold war, a stalemate nuclear stare down between the U.S and Soviet Union that kept the world at its toes. During this time period, a nuclear attack was imminent, and the United States began to prepare its citizens for a possible nuclear catastrophe. Therefore, many sociological changes occurred as the constant fear of annihilation and fallout caused for Americans to take precaution and change their way of life.
The psychological effect of fear transformed into a greater sociological effect for the masses. A study conducted by M. Schwebe in America concluded that “the nuclear threat greatly affected the thoughts, life plan and feelings of the younger generation, enhancing the anxiety among large populations”. Thus the fear instilled by imminent nuclear warfare was changing the mental complexions of society.
Another affect of nuclear fear was the changing of the Americans’ lifestyle through the precautionary tactics of fallout shelters. The American government issued out many manuals and instructions on how American families could fully prepare their resources and set aside goods for the aftermath of a nuclear attack. Many families now looked towards maximizing what their home had to offer by finding the easiest way to convert their basements into fallout shelters. Many special radio stations where made for the government to contact civilians during the potential nuclear aftermath. Also, many small municipal governments would build large fallout shelters for the entire town.
Nuclear war had shifted society into a fearful sense of survivalists who in turn, lived their everyday lives with the thought of a catastrophic event. Families all had plans and regiments ready for the potential disaster and the world as a whole was at watch.