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How helpful the concept of counter-culture is in understanding the changes that took place in the Sixties, with reference to History, History of Science and Music.

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How helpful the concept of counter-culture is in understanding the changes that took place in the Sixties, with reference to History, History of Science and Music. The view that many people take of there being a widespread counter culture in the sixties, that opposed many views within society can be justified by looking at the many events and the changes in opinion that occurred in that decade, which went against many prevailing attitudes. The fact that many things happened before and after the sixties could suggest that the movements, historically within society and within science and music, was a culmination of a gradual shift in attitudes within society rather than a culture that was wholly opposed to it. The change in attitudes occurred mainly in western society. Many attitudes that were prevalent before and during the sixties, were directly opposed by many movements that were widely supported and heralded a definite change in attitude towards many issues. The civil rights movement was concerned with ensuring society at large recognised the rights of people, of different races' to be on an equal basis with all members of society. ...read more.


Rossi's article from nineteen sixty-five. In it she shows that the attitudes that people were educated into at school and university were concerned with specific gender roles, and that young girls were to be seen as potential wives and mothers. The fact that women who worked were forced to choose between work and family life, Rossi saw the change in social attitudes as vitally important to encourage men to take up some proportion of family life 'We must educate boys and girls for all major adult roles'. The influence women had began to become apparent in the sixties. The change in the treatment of research in primatology was driven by female scientists who centred their research on female primates, The previous mindset formed in male dominated research was that female primates role were that of sexual availability to males and being mothers, this mindset was changed because of research done by women scientists. This change is shown in Londa Shiebinger's Has feminism changed science? where the author states that 'Feminists first overturned the conventional stereotype of the passive, dependant female.' The mindset of the scientific community concerning the impermeable placenta allowed, to an extent, the tragedy of new-born babies being deformed by Thalidomide across many countries. ...read more.


The manifestation of these counter movements were reflected in many forms by popular music which countered many views within society. The growth of new and subversive forms of classical music opposed many traditional ideas about music that society had. These changes in attitude could be said to constitute small parts of a wider mass counter-culture that was in direct opposition to mainstream society. Many changes in views were looking back to attitudes that were traditional but were being, or had been, lost. Such as the fears over the direction research in science were taking and the early music revival. Other widespread changes such as social welfare and material conditions improving, could be seen as slow gradual changes that evolved over time reaching a culmination within the sixties. Also the changes that occurred were largely within mainstream society itself with different movements being adopted by different people and not representing a wider shift in the attitudes of society. So society may not have had a sudden shift in attitudes to counter the prevalent viewpoints which caused the massive changes, but the sixties may have been climactic period of increasing awareness that had been ongoing and continued long after the decade ended. ...read more.

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