Throughout the history, the evolution of the United States of America has been marked by numerous social and cultural movements that have influenced the course of important events and have helped shape what we know today as one of the most powerful, influential and complex countries in the world. One of these movements is The Hippie Movement of the 1960s.
The American society of the 1950s was characterized by a postwar prosperity and the confidence in America's universal mission to share with other countries its conception of liberty, equality and democracy. Triumphant in World War II, dominating the global scene, America also experienced phenomenal economic growth and consolidated its position as the world's richest country. The development of industry to meet peacetime needs, the expansion of the corporations and the birth of large shopping centers went hand in hand with baby boom and housing boom as well, while more and more people saw themselves as members of the middle class, switching from blue-collar to white-collar jobs. Not a privilege anymore, education turned into an affordable consumer necessity, whilst the development of television, marketing and advertising had a great impact on people's way of thinking and living.
At the same time, the essential participation of the US in the Cold War created a politically conservative climate and caused the growth of government authority. The desire of a better and better lifestyle, leading to that of having more and better goods everyday and the facilities that allowed people to immediately have what they wanted resulted in a very high level of consumerism.
[...] To conclude with, the paper highlights the legacy that the Hippie Movement has left to the American society. KEYWORDS the hippies, the 1960s, the Beat Generation, the Vietnam War, hippie lifestyle, Woodstock I. INTRODUCTION Throughout the history, the evolution of the United States of America has been marked by numerous social and cultural movements that have influenced the course of important events and have helped shape what we know today as one of the most powerful, influential and complex countries in the world. [...]
[...] ”Three days of peace, love and rock ” - this is how the attendees defined it. The festival was mythologized in films and record albums and gave its name to the era – the Woodstock Generation. VI. THE DECLINE OF THE MOVEMENT Woodstock was the fulfilling of all the hippie dreams, but also the beginning of the end. Because of the great interest from the media, the hippie world was discovered by the masses, enjoyed and assimilated into the mainstream. [...]
[...] By 1965, they had already created a solid community, and the movement was spreading over the US and to Canada and Europe. III. THE HIPPIE PHILOSOPHY OF LIFE From the Beat Generation, the hippies inherited the disagreement with the realities of the society of the time. However, there were also differences between the two movements: if the Beats did not become involved in politics or try to change society, the hippies did, by far, the contrary, by actively participating in the Civil Rights Movement and the anti-war movement. [...]
[...] To this conformist and consumerist America reacted a youth counterculture called ”The Beat Generation”. The Beats were a group of writers who criticized the materialism and the rationalism of the time and praised spirituality and spontaneity. They ”preferred intuition over reason, Eastern mysticism over Western institutionalized religion”3. Together with the emergence of rock and roll and the rebellion of artists and musicians like Elvis Presley, the Beat Generation was a model and a starting point for the future Hippie Movement. [...]
[...] The hippie counterculture and its impact on the American society I. INTRODUCTION • General presentation of the 1950s and 1960s • Aspects of the historical context in which the counterculture was born • The Beat Generation – a starting point II. THE ORIGIN OF THE MOVEMENT • Etymology of some specific terms • The emergence of the hippie movement – place, time, linked manifestations III. THE HIPPIE PHILOSOPHY OF LIFE • The beliefs and the values of the hippies • The hippie lifestyle and its controversial side IV. [...]
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