Some decades (the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s) are considered to have a feeling all on their own, while other decades, such as the 1990s and 2000s, are considered to be components of a greater era.
1920-1946: Jazz Age, Great Depression, and World War IIEdit
This period was defined by the first popularity of film and the movies, Jazz music , which evolved into Swing music by 1935 , and later Big Band music . Early on, in the '20s, this period was defined by prosperity, but with the 1929 Stock Market Crash, things quickly turned dire.
The flapper subculture was prominent in the 20s.
The radio became a mainstream medium during this time, and during the Golden age of radio, radio programs were far more diverse, as television had not yet existed, and included most of the genres currently found on television, including the sitcom and the soap opera.
1947-1962: Post-war eraEdit
Elvis Presley is the most famous entertainer to come out of this era.
1963-1970: Swinging 60sEdit
The Sixties began with the British Invasion revival of rock n roll, and were defined by Civil Rights, protests over the Vietnam War, the hippie movement, environmentalism, Motown music, and classic rock. 
Color television was also mainstreamized during the '60s.
1971-1979: The SeventiesEdit
Popular music artists of the 1970s include Queen, Journey, ABBA, The Bee Gees, Aerosmith, Elton John, The Eagles, Ohio Players, KC and the Sunshine Band, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Boston, and Village People.
1980-1991: The EightiesEdit
Cable television truly took off in this era, and MTV in particular, had a large effect on popular culture — influencing fashion with the music video and contributing to the popularity of New Wave music, an off-shoot of punk rock that later incorporated synthesizers and catchy melodies into the irony and rebellion of punk culture.
Popular New Wave acts of the Eighties include Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, The Cure, New Order, Talking Heads, Blondie, Devo, The Go-Go's, Cyndi Lauper, Culture Club, Information Society, Thompson Twins, Pet Shop Boys, and Psychedelic Furs. Teen movies of the 80s, such as Valley Girl, The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, and Pretty in Pink often featured soundtracks with new wave artists. 
Rave culture and music also began in this period, becoming more and more prevalent in the Alternative era after the '80s, especially in Europe.
The Eighties era is considered to have ended around the year 1991, with the musical success of Nirvana breaking in alternative rock and alternative culture, and the Soviet Union collapsing and the mainstreaming of the personal computer around the same time.
1992-present: The Alternative eraEdit
The 1990s, 2000s and into the '10s were defined by the fragmentation of pop culture, due to digital technology . Teen pop, hip hop music and alternative music were the definitive styles of 1992 and later.
The use of profanity became more socially acceptable during this time period , and more people followed a DIY lifestyle. Indie music and hipster culture existed alongside the mainstream pop music and rap music cultures.
Musicians popular from the early 1990s to present day include Green Day, Mariah Carey, Snoop Dogg, Wu Tang Clan, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica, The Offspring, Beck, Weezer, Celine Dion, and Garth Brooks.
Teen pop groups and singers of the period include Boys 2 Men, Backstreet Boys, Spice Girls, NSYNC, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, TLC, Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, 98 Degrees, and Selena Gomez.
Popular television shows of the '90s and '00s include The Simpsons, South Park, American Idol, The Real World, Law and Order, E.R., Friends, Seinfeld, Family Guy, Survivor, CSI, The Bachelor, Blind Date, and Beverly Hills 90210.
Fashion from 1992 to present has been defined by retro-fashion, anti-fashion, Grunge fashion, hip hop fashion, preppie fashion, and apparel such as blue jeans and t-shirts. Accessories became a major part of fashion starting in the early 1990s.
- ↑ http://www.uta.edu/pols/moore/fall2311/media/tsld004.htm
- ↑ http://library.thinkquest.org/C005846/categories/artliter/artslit.htm
- ↑ http://www.swingmusic.net/getset.html
- ↑ http://www.thepeoplehistory.com/40smusic.html
- ↑ www2.lib.virginia.edu/exhibits/sixties/hippies.html
- ↑ http://features.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2007/09/21/the-greatest-band-of-all-time/
- ↑ http://www.fiftiesweb.com/fashion/mod-fashion.htm
- ↑ http://www.kstatecollegian.com/2.2600/trends-from-the-1970s-still-prevalent-1.220912
- ↑ http://www.skooldays.com/decades/fashion_1970s.htm
- ↑ article/112531/the_best_new_wave_sountracks_pg3.html
- ↑ http://www.torontosun.com/entertainment/columnists/kevin_williamson/2009/04/03/8986401-sun.html
- ↑ http://www.boston.com/ae/celebrity/articles/2005/10/11/pop_goes_the_world/
- ↑ http://www.planetpapers.com/Assets/887.php