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Need some help with CounterCulture in the 60s in the US

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posted on May, 11 2012 @ 05:32 PM
Hello to every1, this is my first thread, I posted here mainly because I need some help with a presentation I have to finish off for school this coming Tuesday. I'm in 2nd of year of International Affairs/Political Science and this is an optional course called "Discourse analysis" ( hopefully a good translation to it ) . We had to present a topic, whatever we desired, with the focus on language, message, symbols, image....well everything what might start an image in your head and influence people to do/believe things which they wouldn't without that "message". Anyways I'm totally butchering it atm.

I chose the counterculture in the 60s because I'm a big fan of the music from back then and I'm also amazed at the hippie movement and all the innocence and growth as a species we had back then, result coming out even on the international law system being affected by the movement. That's not really for me, but the coming together and sharing and all that jazz is pretty much amazing for me, considering in what society we live today ( and I'm still lucky I live in Romania, sure if I were in Germany or Austria for example I'd have a higher standard of living, but at least here we are less rule-bounded )

It's going to be a 10 minute presentation with follow up questions from my class mates. The main focus will be on language, discourse, the message and how it was presented, how music evolved. Magazines from back then, critiques ( intelligent ones, not some mainstream journal who would probably be propaganda ), mini documentaries...

Any help would be greatly appreciated, and also, besides helping me you will also help the community, because if you ask me, the 60's were an amazing period for us, and it's sad we didn't learn enough from it.

By the way, I hope I posted in the right forum section
edit on 11-5-2012 by bOneSeven because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 11 2012 @ 05:41 PM
The 60's have been romanticized. It wasn't a great era of love and peace. It was about the birthing of rights for others than white males. It was actually a violent and degenerate time. That's not taking away from those that did the hard walk, just saying that it wasn't all that some younger folks think it was. I hate Tom Cruise but Born on the 4th of July really said something about the 60's. Tears. Viet Nam? See Platoon. I'll leave you with Barry McGuire:

posted on May, 11 2012 @ 06:02 PM
reply to post by bOneSeven

If I were you I would start with how blues developed from slave music in the south, then how that was urbanized in chicago and memphis in the 50's which then spawned rock n roll (jerry lee lewis, chuck berry, little richard) in the late 50's, which when it reached britain in the early sixties was elaborated on and then exported back to the americans as the beatles and rolling stones and everything that followed. Bob Dylan is also very important in this picture, his elaboration on the traditional folk song in a modern political environment contributed greatly to sixties counter culture. What I can see is that from the beginning, with the blues playing a major role you see this music as being a reaction to situations out of peoples control, government, the man, all of that.

I'd love to help out if I can, just let me know as I'm a bit of a music and 60's freak.

posted on May, 11 2012 @ 06:21 PM
SirSlide, your help would be perfect I think actually, focusing on one thing ( that thing being pretty important and fun ) would be best I think and being a very strong art form development it would be a very good thing to present it, the whole evolution music went through. However, I will go to sleep now ( 2:20 am right here ), I'll be back to check the thread in about 10 hours or so
. Looking forward to your help!

posted on May, 11 2012 @ 07:18 PM
Hey, OP, this video was made by student on a very similar project, it might give you some ideas, and it focuses largely on the Vietnam War, and the anti-war movement:

Some terms I would include and explain in a least a sentence or so:
- the civil rights movement
- the era that led to ideals of women's liberation, black power, red power, and gay power.
- the contraceptive pill (sexual freedom)
- baby-boomers
- psychedelics

For symbols one could look at cultural mixing, first bringing Eastern religions and native religions into mainstream American culture.
- the merging of popular music with the political
- long hair for men and miniskirts for women
- the peace sign (or the footprint of the American chicken?)
- nudity
- the adoption of Marxist symbols

Major events
- the draft
- the summer of love, San Francisco, 1967
- Woodstock
- the musical Hair

- an era of culture war and at least two major assassinations (not to be romanticized)
- lasting cultural changes in gender politics and race
- ended with Manson killings and on-going war, and culture war reached a climax at the Kent State Shootings in 1970
- but also gave us the Jesus People and the New Age Movement, and a new respect and insight for other cultures, and ultimately postmodernism.
edit on 11-5-2012 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 11 2012 @ 10:47 PM
reply to post by bOneSeven

Alright, some search terms:

Monterey Pop
Kent State Massacre
Abby Hoffman
Black Panthers
PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization)
Ken Kesey & the Merry Pranksters
Muscle Cars
Janis, Jimi, and Jim...all dead at 27

Ask if you need more. I grew up during that magical era, and would not take a million dollars for my memories.

posted on May, 11 2012 @ 11:15 PM
The 1960s basically is when American Society shattered. People had been doing things like their dad and his dad before him for so long... and it wasn't working anymore. The whole world seemed to have gone crazy. People had gotten so caught up in materialism and things and titles and status and symbols that the young people rejected it... all of it.

Your dad had short had long hair. Society said you had to dress conservatively... you dress flamboyantly, no black and blue suits here... the rainbow was the limit... The rules said only safe, traditional music... you listened to Hendrix and Joplin and the Doors... the American people and government had to defend freedom and liberty where you had to do what you were told and go to war... you burned your draft card and talked of true love and freedom...

This is where people started going back to the land and shedding the confines of accepted society, basically doing for yourself and sharing the fruits and bounty of the land with others.... caring for the land, and being free like Adam and Eve... not titles, no possessions, no status...FREE.

Women rebelled against the rules... wearing pants, no bras...which represented the confines and woven straps of feminine slavery to "the man."

Nobody knew who the man was... but everybody was rebelling against the man. Blacks, women, youth, ...

Oddly enough, if you think of society and politics as a circle... the young living off the land hippies grew akin to the old, mountain people and country folks and realized they were very much alike.

It was all about rebellion and thinking outside the box, just trying something new. if the "squares" and "establishment" knew so damn much, Why were we in another war with no end? Why were dogs being used on people just because they were black? Why was the government corrupt and lying to the American people? Why were couples still married when they didn't love each other and mentally, verball, sometimes physically abused each other? Was all this stuff really the foundations of happiness?

Love was the answer... Love. Peace. Harmony. ever see the old Coke commercial..."I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony..." and it grows into a crescendo of voices in harmony holding candles skiing down a mountain at night.

Love, man. that's where it's at, man...Love. Whic in some circles blended into the Christian faith and gave way to the jesus freaks... not only Lovem but Jesus... actually many of Jesus' views are socialist principles, they are passive, pushing spiritual growth and not material growth, living for today at peace and love your neighbor and love your enemy.

Some good movies of the times include Easy Rider... MASH... Billy Jack... Helter Skelter ( the old version made in the 1970s).. The Graduate... Dirty Harry...all of these reflect viewpoints prevalant at the time. Look at the people and really look at the backgrounds and cars and dress.

Many young people mistakenly think it was about wild clothes and drugs and rock n roll. If you listen to the people and the songs, it was about expansion and evolution of people and society and love. people took drugs to expand their minds and consciousness, people wore the clothes to express themselves and be free to be who they wanted to be... not what the machine said they had to be. The music was about breaking the barriers and letting freedom and love reign.

"Come on people now, join hands.. get on the love train, the love train..."

"Lean on me, when you're not strong... and I'll be your friend, I'll help you carry on..."

The whole world seemed to be going crazy. As crazy as it is now, it was crazier then. We saw John and Robert kennedy get shot and killed. Martin Luther king shot and killed. The Civil Rights marches and riots up in Chicago, Detroit, and most other metro areas. The KKK was in and out of the news.. hangings and cross burnings, Hendrix, Joplin, Morrison all OD'd on drugs. Cities were burning, American servicemen were coming home in body bags, or messed up with no legs, or came home in one piece but hooked on drugs and morphine, mass numbers of people were dropping out of society and sleeping in parks and city streets and national malls and monuments protesting the Viet nam War by the tens of thousands, the riotous burning 1968 democratic convention, George wallace got shot, WaterGate, pictures of little Vietnamese girls running from Napalmed villages, the Mi Ling Massacre and Lt Cally?... think I got that right.

All this offset by the Moon Landing, Buffaloe Springfield's Tin Soldiers and Nixon's Coming, the Kent State Massacre, Charlie Manson and the Tate Murders... Elvis Comeback Special.. Lynyrd Skynyrd's Sweet Home Alabama, public school integration of whites and blacks

I lived and remember those day. I was young and idealistic. Now I am an old hippie with short hair and a red neck.. I really miss the spirit of those days... and we were freer then, too.

posted on May, 12 2012 @ 12:49 AM

Originally posted by halfoldman

For symbols one could look at cultural mixing, first bringing Eastern religions and native religions into mainstream American culture.
- the merging of popular music with the political
- long hair for men and miniskirts for women

There is sooooo much to the 60's and too much to cover in such short time. Definitely was about social change and recognition of equality and individuality at once.

I quoted the above to make a point that it was not only about the mini-skirt for women but even the freedom to wear pants. The girls were not allowed to wear pants to school when I was a kid. Jackie Kennedy shocked the nation by wearing slack in the white house during casual times. Much of what shocked people then is perfectly acceptable now.

I suspect we are soon to head back into another revolutionary period of individuality and tolerance for people's individual expressions as we had back then. There is still a long way to go to win our freedom to express ourselves openly.

edit on 12-5-2012 by Erongaricuaro because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 12 2012 @ 01:02 AM
reply to post by bOneSeven

MAD magazine.

lingo - groovey, cool, spaced-out, ("I've got trails man!" - is YUPPIE not Hippie)

attire - mood rings, Egyptian Ankhs, peace symbols, granny skirts and dresses, beads, headbands, long hair on guys, ?Jesus sandals?

interior decorating - psychedelics, black lights, incense, candles

edit on 12/5/2012 by Trexter Ziam because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 12 2012 @ 01:20 AM
I'm just gonna say.

It wasn't very much the 60s - - it was the 70s.

There was an anti-war movement started by college students (not dropouts) from Berkley.

There was a drug culture emerging in the same area - - separate from the anti-war movement.

Do the research - - get the real facts.

posted on May, 12 2012 @ 03:47 AM
10x every1 very much for helping me here
. I think, for now at least ( got until tuesday ) I will try to focus the music, how it evolved and was affected by the culture that arose in the 60s, I think it would be the perfect candidate for me. Again, whoever knows of any issues of magazines talking/critiqueing the movement and music and all that ( I will look in MAD a bit later on ) pls post the name/links here. Happy to see so much responses

posted on May, 12 2012 @ 05:51 PM
reply to post by bOneSeven

I'm sorry, I only read MAD which was semi-comedic, political satire and such.

The "teenie boppers" DID have two magazines here in US if I remember correctly, which were about music groups - but I don't know the names. Hubby says "Rolling Stones" magazine for you to check out.

If you are focusing on music, Joplin and Hendrix deaths were a major change in the environment.

Other music influences included, The Mamas and the Papas, Bob Dylan, Moodie Blues, Donavan, Simon and Garfunkle, and even folk music such as "Where Have All the Flowers Gone" and for the kiddoes - "Puff the Magic Dragon". I loved Iron Butterfly but I can't remember if there were lyrics.

Hubby adds: The Eagles, Led Zepplin, Rolling Stones, Don McLain ("American Pie"), Joan Baez and Nancy Sinatra. Eric Clapton (Concentrated on the drug culture but not the anti-Nam culture). Carlos Santana (Woodstock)

The Beatles of course (didn't have to mention them I think.)

edit on 12/5/2012 by Trexter Ziam because: (no reason given)

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