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Affluent youth rebellion in the 1960s

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  1. Introduction.
  2. The students of these times.
    1. Seeing the 'American values' they held so dear: Rhetoric being espoused by people.
    2. New breed of the New Left.
  3. The student rebellion of the 1960's.
  4. The baby-boom generation.
  5. The New Left movement: Implementing notions of socialism.
    1. Students of the sixties: The Robin Hood of society.
    2. Communists among the New Left group.
    3. The rebellious youth of the 1960's.
  6. Radicals in the universities.
  7. The qualms that much of the student body had.
  8. Conclusion.
  9. Bibliography.

The decade of the 1960s was a tumultuous time for universities and the students that occupied them. It was a time of changing values, gone were the days of the Old Communist Left of the decades prior, and arrived was the movement of the New Left. This New Left emerged in the wake of the war in Vietnam, tensions between the East and the West, growing understanding of the threats to the environment, the oppression of women and minorities, and arrogance and corruption within the political process. With this New Left movement came a new breed of university students, a breed different from its predecessors, this group had unprecedented privilege and had the freedom to assess the world, particularly their place in it, to a greater extent than anybody before them. Unlike their fathers who likely worked upwards of sixty hours a week or more, these students were privileged. This was also a student population that had grown immensely, and the university population was larger than it had ever been before. For the first time in history, university students were a large group, and a group that now had some influence and impact in society.

[...] From this it will be clear that the student rebellion of the 1960s was one of privilege against privilege, as those that were privileged were trying to change the fabric of privilege, and even though they did not succeed in a complete transformation of the university system and of society in general, the New Left ideals that they adhered to did allow them to change the way universities taught and treated students forever. The students of these times knew that were children of relative privilege, and now, in their new homes at various universities, they regarded the state of their society as one with a bleak future. [...]

[...] It was typically the most affluent students that were in leadership roles during these protests.[13] We have discussed the social climate that was in place during the time of these protests and rebellions, and we have illustrated that in most cases it was the affluent group of students that were leading the way, by why was this, the case, why were the affluent leading the way? The baby-boom generation, those that were responsible for the rebellion that we are discussing, grew up in a time when there was a material base for concern about democracy. [...]

[...] The student rebellion of the 1960s began as a moral criticism of social and political practises that were in violation of traditionally held and publicly pronounced ideals. It then shifted away from issue-oriented rebellion to one of that of radical politics. Later in the decade, students were looking to more radical ways of getting their point across, they were using tactics that would today be considered terrorist in nature.[19] Where the New Left gathered strength, it challenged the three major politically organized forces on the left: liberalism, social democracy, and Moscow-oriented communism. [...]

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