In my arrogant opinion it seems that mainstream North American religious life is pretty assimilated to the values and lifestyle of the American middle class. Those of us who get angry about this often blame it on the renewal of religious life after the Council. My own experience has led me to doubt this suggestion; from what I have heard over the years I think this process was well underway soon after World War II.
It's curious to notice the ambiguities in one' s own relationship to this. (Of course this is my own very particular experience, but I'll bet it's not unique.) When you first begin to explore religious life and the idea of a vocation, there is this great moment of giddy relief as you discover that the real thing is not as severe and controlled as you were led to believe by the movies and from reading the lives of the saints. You discover that you will get your own room, and even sometimes your own bathroom. You will still be able to visit family, and keep in touch with friends. You can still listen to music, go to the movies, or watch TV. The presence of all of these things to which you were accustomed in the secular world softens the doubt and shock about making this allegedly radical choice to enter religious life. When you are discerning a limiting and largely misunderstood option in life and are dealing with a lot of doubt and fear, these little learnings that soften the blow make it seem easier at first.
Over the years, though, you start to resent it all, and start to wish that religious life was in fact more like what first attracted you in reading the lives of the saints.