Describe The Social Structure And Lifestyles Of 1960s Counterculture. How Did The Vietnam War Influence The Counterculture? Do You Think There Is A Counterculture Today?


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In the United States, the counterculture of the 1960s was directly influenced by the decades that preceded it.

Post-World War II values and beliefs gave the counterculture of the '60s a lot of fuel to burn.

The Vietnam War added to the feelings of resentment that young people had at the time - and this is a mood that has continued to this very day.

Lifestyle of 1960s counterculture

Following the upheaval of World War II, the 1950s became a decade of 'All-American' values and the rise of consumerism.

For young people growing up in the the 1960s, the previous generation seemed materialistic and 'square'. Capitalism and the economy had taken over the American psyche, and the youth of the nation was unhappy and rebellious.

Social issues, political ideology, music and drugs: These were the four elements which encapsulated counterculture in '60s America.

Whilst their parents were busy working their 9-5 and living the suburban dream, young people in America became suspicious of authority, the government, and the way America was headed.

How social attitudes and the Vietnam War affected '60s counterculture
The outbreak of the Vietnam War summed up the counterculture's worst fears.

To them, America had become so embroiled with its political and economic ambitions that it had taken to bombing the hell out of a South-east Asian country to stop it falling into the clutches of Communists.

Counterculture was afraid America had gone too far, that it had lost sight of humanity and what was important in the world.

To counteract this feeling, young people devoted themselves to concepts like 'free love' and spiritual well-being.

Young people also become politically and socially-incensed: Something that was almost unheard-of historically.

This is a sentiment that continues to this date, with the threat of globalization and oil-wars fueling an ever-growing resentment and suspicion towards government amongst the people who form the counterculture.

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