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To some people the 1960's were the best of times; to others it was a period when many things went wrong in society. Why do people have such different ideas about the 1960's?

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Introduction

Assignment 1 Question 3 To some people the 1960's were the best of times; to others it was a period when many things went wrong in society. Why do people have such different ideas about the 1960's? The 1960's were a time that many people look back on with fond memories, but which others blame for some of the failings in society. Until the early sixties society had remained largely stable since the second half of the nineteenth century. The family was the most important social units and it was usually dominated by the breadwinner, also known as the father. By the end of the sixties, what mattered to many in society was no longer the family, but the individual. Freedom and self-expression now seemed to be more important than responsibility and obligation. This meant people had more individual rights. Everybody knew that young people let their hair down, but that later, as they matured, they settled down to their responsibilities. But what made these changes so important and more worrying to some was that the changes were not just affecting young people. It was also a time when there were startling changes in morality and social values were taking place. ...read more.

Middle

They were opposed by some Christians believed that taking the pill was against the teachings of the church. Another criticism was that the contraception would lead to the breakdown of social values because it would prevent the development of loving relationships and lead to sex being regarded as a purely physical act. The conservative interpretation to the legalisation of abortion was opposed for many reasons. Christians believed that it was little better than murder because a life was being taken away. Other people believed that it would encourage sexual relationships and reduce the value of the bond between mother and child. The pill and abortion and the freedom of the sixties did not make motherhood any less attractive for the great majority of women. Many of the girls who left school to work in boutiques or as receptionists were soon married with children. The popular image of childcare was still that it was women's role in the family. Schools, the government, advertising and the media all pushed the traditional view that women should stay at home, and so sacrifice their career prospects for their children. A further influence came with the feminist movement; it began to challenge all traditional ideas of women's role in society, the economy and the family. ...read more.

Conclusion

I conclude that there were different types of opinions by very different people. The changes to the law relating to marriage and homosexuality suggested that society was changing permanently. Secondly the fact that many of the changes were legal, rather than social. This suggested that the government and people in authority seemed to be aiding and abetting changes. There was plenty of evidence form the sixties to suggest that British society was moving in a completely new direction. For the teenager, the 1960's were a time to experiment, rather than a time to be told. For women, it was a time to speak out from male dominance, and push for equality. Not only was there an ever-decreasing respect for the establishment, but people who seemed to have less respect for each other. The legalisation of the pill, abortion and homosexual relationships in private, not only showed growing disrespect by going against Christian Teachings, but sent out a message that the government thought such 'immoralities' were ok. Generally, those who had been brought up before the war years saw the 1960's as a time when society went past the point of no return. But those born after saw it as a chance to experience freedom and fun in ways never before seen possible. ...read more.

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