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Counterculture Essay Sample

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Counterculture refers to the anti-establishment phenomenon that started in the United States and the United Kingdom in the 1960s. It later spread throughout the Western world between the 60s-mid-70s. The hotbeds of its earliest activity were New York City, London, and San Francisco. It gained momentum with the growth of the African-American Civil Rights Movement. The expansion of the U.S. government military intervention especially in Vietnam made it revolutionary.

The progression of the 1960s led to widespread tensions concerning some issues. They flowed along the generational lines regarding women's rights, human sexuality, experimentation with psychoactive drugs, traditional modes of authority, and the different interpretations of the American Dream. The above led to the counterculture. With the unfolding of the era, there were new cultural forms and also a dynamic subculture (Royko, 1971).

They celebrated modern incarnations of Bohemianism, experimentation, and the emergence of the hippie and other lifestyles. Counterculture embraced creativity. It became notable in the works of British bands like the Beatles and filmmakers. Censorship was less restrictive of the works. The artists also worked within and across many disciplines. They helped define the counterculture movement.

There are some factors that distinguished counterculture from the anti-authoritarian movements. The  ''baby boom'' after World War II gave birth to many disaffected young people. They could rethink the direction of America and the democratic societies. The affluence enabled many to move beyond the provision of material necessities (Colleen, 1999).

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