There are several discrepancies between the three sources but there are a number of reasons which may have resulted in this difference. Firstly, each source is representative of one individual, and their viewpoint and experience which may differ to someone else’s. Another possibility is that their memories of the events may have changed with time. The different behaviour of fans mentioned particularly in Sources B and C may be simply due to the fact that different pop groups attract different fans. An alternative to this is simply that Paul McCartney is used to the behaviour of fans unlike other teenagers in the audience who may view their behaviour differently.
In conclusion, I do believe that Source C supports Sources A and B, but only to a certain extent.
3) How useful are Sources D and E in helping you to understand why many young people believed that the Sixties offered them opportunities that they had never had before?
I think Sources D and E are very useful in demonstrating why young people felt that the Sixties offered them new opportunities.
Source D is an entry in the TV Times in 1965, advertising “Ready, Steady, Go!” a television programme that broadcast pop music and many celebrities presented the show. It was one of the first programmes aimed at teenagers. Source E is a description of a radio broadcast made in the 1960’s. This account was written in the 1990’s and explains what it was like to be able to listen to pop music on the radio for the first time.
Both these sources, D and E, are two examples of freedoms that previous generations of youths had never enjoyed. At no other point in history, had we seen a market for teenagers. The Sixties was the first time that young adults were encouraged to be independent. A whole new fashion of clothes, music and hairstyles was developed for teenagers whereas in previous years teenagers had strived to look and behave like their parents.
The television programme, “Ready Steady Go!” was one of many new programmes that had a target audience of teenagers. Previously all television was aimed at young children and adults. Teenagers were encouraged to watch the same programmes their parents watched whereas now there was suddenly something on television that they could watch, and enjoy and that was aimed at them.
The Sixties was very much a decade centred, in some ways, on music. It was not long before the revolutionary idea of broadcasting pop music for a teenage audience was firmly established. Soon, radio stations, for teenagers were set up. Radio Luxemburg, as described in Source F, was the first radio show to play “all the pop songs we’d ever desired”. The reception was often “lousy” and interrupted by numerous adverts like “Horace Batchelor and his infallible gambling schemes”.
Both sources demonstrate that music became a priority for teenagers, which led to the development of new television and radio programmes as well as the opportunity for teenagers to become a whole new audience for fashion, television and radio.
Source D is slightly unreliable, as the flyer may have been exaggerated for advertisement purposes, however I believe it is more reliable than Source E. Source E is to some extent very unreliable, as it was written thirty years after the event, and the writer will be looking back at the Sixties with nostalgia.
In conclusion I believe that both sources are reliable in expressing why young people may have believed that the Sixties allowed them opportunities that they had never had before.
4) Use Sources F and G, and your own knowledge, to explain why some people came to see the 1960’s as a period of bad influences on British society.
Source F Is an article in the Daily Mail, a right wing paper, which discusses Mary Whitehouse’s campaign to ‘clean up the BBC’.
Source G is part of a biography entry for the singer Janice Joplin. It discusses her career and life and also mentions her downfall due to drugs.
The Sixties were a time when Britain’s morale climate made a dramatic shift. Both Sources F and G are evidence of some of the things that changed in the Sixties such as an increase in drug use, sex and crime, both on television and in society.
Source F helps us to understand how some people viewed the 1960’s as turbulent and negatively influential upon the society of Britain. This article relates how Mary Whitehouse, a school teacher in 1964, challenges the BBC and campaigns against its apparent increase in explicit content. This article implies that the BBC challenges traditional cultures and beliefs and censors “much which is good and clean in our national culture”. Although Mary Whitehouse is one individual, it is possible to believe that she may have been a catalyst in society to cause a reaction against popular culture in the 1960’s. Mary Whitehouse, however, was a traditionalist of the Christian faith and her opinion of explicit content is not representative of that of most of society in 1960’s Britain. It must also be remembered that the Daily Mail is a right wing, conservative paper and is therefore slightly biased.
Despite this, Mary Whitehouse’s complaints may not have been completely unfounded. There were changes in society during the 1960’s that were not beneficial to society and television merely began to reflect these changes and portray British life as it was rather than as many wanted it to be.
Many drugs, particularly LSD became widely available in the 1960’s and a number of celebrities were taking drugs. Several performers even died due to the effects of drugs and alcohol, including Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Keith Moon and Brian Jones. Not only this but as some celebrities and performers were role models to young people many teenagers also accepted the role of rebellious young adults as they tried to mimic their idols. They adopted this new, alternative culture of violence, sex and drugs which completely undermined the accepted values of British society. As performers began to take on this new lease of life popular music began to change. Lyrics became more suggestive and explicit and some songs openly encouraged the use of drugs.
Source G is evidence of this deterioration in society. It portrays a brief account of Janis Joplin’s life. It tells of her rebellious teenage years and how she rose to prominence through vocal talent and finally died in 1970 from a drug overdose. Source G is a balanced, non biased account of Janis Joplin’s life, which unfortunately seems to follow the pattern of the lives of numerous other performers.
It seems there was a link between drugs and the music industry as more and more celebrities began to use drugs, and their fans began to copy them. It is important to remember that not every performer took drugs or drank regularly and that not every teenager followed in the footsteps of those that did. However, the actions and behaviour of those that did may be part of the reason why some people view the Sixties as time of negative change.
There were many changes in social groups in the Sixties as well. It was a time when many rebellious and anti-authority typecasts were born, as Mods, Rockers and Hippies all questioned approved values and ideals. Many of them experimented with drugs and demanded more freedoms.
People generally become more liberal and much less restrained in their actions during the 1960’s but some seemed to abandon all responsibility, challenge and reject society as well as its existing ideas. It is this and the increase in drugs, violence and sex which may account for the reasoning of those people who believe that the Sixties was a period of bad influence on British society.
5) Study all the sources. “Popular culture in the 1960’s did more harm than good”. Use the sources and your own knowledge to explain whether you agree with this view.
No I do not believe that “popular culture in the 1960’s did more harm than good”. Although, there was an increase in drugs, sex and violence, in the 1960’s there was also more rights for women, less discrimination in society, less censorship in the government, more opportunities in education and more opportunities for young people. The Sixties soon became a period that was responsible for positive changes in society and attitudes.
The damaging and constructive effects of the pop culture were both fundamentally linked to young people. As popular culture developed so did social groups between teenagers. Groups like the ‘Mods’, ’Rockers’, ’Hippies’ and ‘Beatniks’ became much more violent and rebellious and some teenagers began to follow the new culture of sex, drugs and violence which completely undermined the accepted values of British society.
The world of popular music encouraged these new ideals and soon a link with the music industry and drugs was forged. As more drugs like LSD became widely available, more and more performers fell into a life of drugs and alcohol. Their music reflected their behaviour and in turn more teenagers began to follow in the footsteps of their idols and role models. Song lyrics became more suggestive and some openly encouraged experimentation with drugs. ‘The Who’ a top ‘Mod’ band promoted violence and drug use on stage and in their written work. They smashed up their instruments and their songs were described as ‘socially dangerous’.
As it states in Source G, Janis Joplin was one of many performers who led this life of drink and drugs. Other performers like Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison also fell foul to the effects of drugs and alcohol.
Source B demonstrates the unruly behaviour of some fans and this violence does again demonstrate a link between violence and pop culture. Source G is also an example of a link between pop culture and negative changes in society as it demonstrates the link between drugs and the pop world. However, not every performer was involved in a life of alcohol and drug use and not every teenager followed those that did. In fact it was a small minority of people that led this kind of life.
For most young adults, the Sixties merely gave them opportunities they had never seen before. Sources D and E are evidence of these new opportunities. The 1960’s was the first time that young adults were not encouraged to behave and look like their parents. Suddenly, teenagers everywhere, found that there was something on television and on the radio that was aimed at them. For the first time in British history, teenagers had their own unique fashion, music, radio and television programmes, hairstyles and magazines. As source H explains, they now had money to spend and CD’s, clothes and cosmetics to spend it on. These new opportunities led to new freedoms and attitudes in both teenagers and the rest of Britain.
Attitudes towards teenagers were not the only things that changed as other ideals were beginning to be viewed differently and these changes were greatly beneficial to society.
As Source G explains, television soon began to reflect these new attitudes and ideals, much to the discomfort of one lady, Mary Whitehouse. She complained about the lack of ‘wholesome, Christian programmes’ on television and disagreed with the increase of explicit content. However, the changes in attitude towards sexual relationships and sexuality were not the only attitudes to change.
Abortion became legal and the ‘pill’ became readily available. This meant that women could choose how many children they had, when they had them or not to have children at all. Attitudes towards marriage changed as marriage became less and less important. The number of illegitimate births rose by 40% and the number of marriages ending in divorce also increased whilst the number of people getting married decreased. Laws were also passed, providing women equal rights as men in the breakdown of marriage.
Changes such as these greatly benefited the women in society. Women became more independent and laws were passed to provide women with equal rights and equal opportunities.
Other laws were passed, including the legalisation of homosexual relationships. This legalisation led to a change in attitude towards people of different race, sexuality and religion.
All these changes in attitudes meant that the Sixties were seen as a period which was very liberal, but in fact it was very beneficial to society in the future. Despite the increase in sex, violence and drug use, the popular culture of the Sixties was not harmful, merely a combination of the increase in trends after World War Two. There were problems with drugs and violence, but these were short lived and were problems representative of a minority of people. Life in the Sixties was enjoyable and saw many changes which made way for new opportunities for young people and adults alike. Changes in the 1960’s which caused a negative impact at the time were in the long run beneficial to our society and were not as a result of popular culture in the 1960’s but simply changes in society that were inevitable.