• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How useful is the term "counter-culture" to describe developments in Western Society during the 1960s? Discuss with reference to any three of the five disciplines represented in Block 6.

Extracts from this document...


How useful is the term "counter-culture" to describe developments in Western Society during the 1960s? Discuss with reference to any three of the five disciplines represented in Block 6. The sixties was a "period of exceptional cultural and social change (Arthur Marwick, (Block 6, Pg 23). A young decade, which saw the coming of age of the post war baby boomers generating an unusually large and due to a rise in economic standards - affluent youth culture who challenged the established values and ideals of "mainstream" society. "Counter-culture" is a useful term to describe a cultural group whose values and behavior run "counter" to those of mainstream society. The sixties was indeed a time when the "counter-culture" challenged the "mainstream views on issues including authority, racism, subordination of women and introduced a new found tolerance, acceptance and a greater freedom of expression. Protests, movements, drugs, rock n roll, sexual liberation, freedom of expression and unconventional modes of dress were all characteristic of the sixties "counter culture" often seen by "mainstream society" as a rebellious and destructive force systematically destroying the moral fabric of society. However, although the "counter-culture" was opposed to many aspects of "mainstream" society they were not an organized threat against the political or economic foundation of society. Although convenient terms to use the "mainstream" culture and "counter-culture" existed together and many facets of "mainstream" society allowed the "counter-culture" a place to voice their opinions, such as Art, Music and Cinema. ...read more.


With its strong ties to youth culture much of the music of the sixties had strong elements of rebellion and anti establishment potential but there was no real rebellion against society, more an outlet for teenage expression. "Mainstream" music continued to thrive and more traditional styles of music co-existed along side new sounds, musicians such as Bob Dylan helped bring about a folk music revival and the Civil Rights movement adopted Dylan's, radical lyrics of "Blowin in the Wind", while Dylan's "The times they are a-Changing" gives us a sense of the mood of the decade. Many changes in popular music in the mid sixties were caused in part by the drug scene, Acid Rock and the more mellow psychedelic rock gained prominence, while the musical phenomenon of Woodstock Festival gathered together 400,000 young people in a spirit of love, peace, and LSD. 1967 saw "The Summer of Love" when mass celebrations in San Francisco caused the "counter-culture scene to gain momentum, drug experimentation and unconventional lifestyles continued to contributed to the vibrant music scene. Jim Haynes, a leading figure in 'counter-cultural' activities explained that: "Young people suddenly had an important voice; they were being listened to, followed even. 'What we were doing in the colourful clothes and long hair in the sixties was telling everybody that we were tolerant, we were all having fun" An opinion echoed by Maureen Nolan and Roma Singleton in "Mini-Renaissance" (Resource Book 4, Page 25), ...read more.


who became involved with the drug and "counter-culture" turned to these new religions in order to gain some control over their lives. Some saw the New Religious Movements as 'adaptive and integrative, rehabilitating dropped and retraining them to enter back into society. To sum up there was no single counter culture but several movements which posed challenges to "mainstream society" I agree to a degree with Ray Davis of the pop group the Kinks who said "that the so-called "Freedom of the Sixties was a myth, that the so-called "counter-culture" never really infiltrated society and that the establishment continued to rule" (Block 6, pg 175) I agree that the establishment did continue to rule and that the sixties did not witness a political or economic revolution but it had great impact on personal and social life . In his autobiography Jim Haynes', 'Thanks for Coming!' shows the deflation felt by many at the end of the sixties. He says 'the end of the sixties came as an incredible collapse [...[we weren't going to change the world. We could only maybe change ourselves a bit. And I think that this resulted in a depression.' (Resource Book 4, page 24) I think this shows that many involved in the "counter-culture movements felt they were trying to change the world and its thanks to their "disanchantment with mainstream culture that has allowed future generations new freedoms in morality; tolerance, equality and acceptance. (Word 1810) ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Anthropology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Anthropology essays

  1. Examine with reference to language how Attia Hosain presents the feelings of the young ...

    Both the brightness and the darkness are personified. She seeks comfort in the "darkness" of her withdrawn life from which she was protected form the absurdities of her new life. She probably prefers to remain in darkness as in the light; she is under scrutiny .We find the thinking of

  2. The purpose of this report is to organise the temporary exhibition of a collection ...

    The museum is more than adequate to house the collection and the weekend should run smoothly. Transportation has been easy to arrange and the organised events should help draw a larger crowd. 12.0 Reference list Amazon.com, 1996-2011. Bubble wrap roll.

  1. Economic activities were an important component of life in prehistoric Greece. Discuss how Minoan ...

    During the old palace period, burials comprised of three types: Larnax, when the body or ashes were buried in a box; Tholos, when the remains were placed in a circular underground room; and Pithos, when the remains were put into a large storage jar known as a pithos (Cadogan, Clarke, 1991: 35).

  2. What can the exchange of gifts tell us about society?

    due to the fact that it is thus unable to create social ties, and he argues that solidarity (the concept on which Durkheim bases his quest for understanding social cohesion) is achieved through the social bonds created by exchange of gifts.

  1. Effects on economy due to a food outlet

    of the summer, it is immensely hot and during monsoon season there is too much thunder and rain. (Indo Vacations, 2008). Business would be the most productive only during those three months of winter because people and tourists would prefer to reside in their homes to avoid the unpleasant weather during the other seasons.

  2. Children and warfare, are their rights being violated?

    The most notable is in Colombia. In Europe, child soldiers serving in Chechnya, Kosovo. In Liberia, for instance, former president Charles Taylor rose to power by using a gang of children to topple the government, terrorize people, and take valuables.

  1. Discuss some of the recurrent themes in western representations of the non-European 'other'.

    - 'you eat each other, which justifies using you as slaves' - canibbilism, of course being a common theme. Michael Taussig7 illustrates a speficic example of such exploitation in Native America, where "The savagery of the wild Indians was important to the propaganda of the rubber company."

  2. A History of Body Piercing throughout Society

    The invention of the Bikini in 1953 caused a big stir because the navel was seen as being sexually provocative because of it's similarity to the female genitals. The Bikini revolutionized women's lives, along with the liberation of their clothes their lives in general became more liberated.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work