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Were the sixties swinging?

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Were the sixties swinging? We often hear the sixties referred to as the 'swinging' decade bye people who were around at the time, but really how true is this statement. Were the sixties really swinging or is that just the way people want to remember them. Could the term 'the swinging sixties' really have been created to mask the tragedy and suffering of many during that decade? The sixties was, undoubtedly one of the most internationally hostile decades of the century. Through many separate events there was a breakdown in international trust. I will go into these later. No one can deny however that the sixties were swinging, at least in the world of fashion. Music too was a big influence on the cultures that came into being during the decade. The sixties were the first times that things were directed at the young and youth culture throughout the period became more and more socially acceptable. For this piece of coursework I have interviewed three people alive during the sixties and also people of my own age who weren't. I will then compare these perceptions with the reality. The first interview we will look at is with a primary source who was around during the period. ...read more.


She didn't even mention Vietnam or Martin Luther King or the Cuban missile crisis. This shows how for her at least her perception of the sixties was very far from the reality of it. Next interviewee who wasn't around at the time was Sam Wain he is 17. The first thing he mentioned was Martin Luther King, he is a great admirer of his work. The second thing he mentioned was the World Cup Victory of 1966. He didn't even mention the Beatles. But he did mention Wood stock '69. A rock concert, which really was a historic event. He then mentioned the outrageous fashions in the sixties. We can see from Sam's response that his perception also differs from reality although not as much as Alice's. The last person who I interviewed was Jason Maude age 19, the first thing he talked about was Vietnam and then the assassination of president Kennedy. He then talked about the Cuban missile crisis. The last thing that he thought of was England's world cup victory of 1966. As we can see from looking at the results of these three interviews in relation to the three primary source interviews Jason was probably the closest to the reality of the sixties, and Alice farthest from it. ...read more.


This could explain widespread fashion and youth culture. During the sixties though there was a lot of international mistrust, it was the era of the cold war. Many incidents occurred, such as the Cuban missile crisis, and Vietnam. The memories of these events still leave their mark today. The space race was also a key point for international mistrust there was great sadness during the sixties, the death of president Kennedy and the persecution of black Americans. But also times of joy like when England won the world cup. No one can deny that the 1960's were definitely a time of change. A change in the fashion world, the musical world. The sixties produced some of the best musicians ever to be seen, such as Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton. A change in the way black people were treated in America and a change in attitude towards young people all over the world. In these respects it could be called 'the swinging sixties' but in others maybe not. Things such as Vietnam I don't think could be considered 'swinging'. So in conclusion I would say that the sixties was a mixed decade with its ups and down but from what I have read and seen I wouldn't say that everything about it was as swinging as some people make it out to be. Shamim Gammage ...read more.

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