Counterculture in the United States

Counterculture in the United States

Student’s name

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American History Since 1877

Professor N. Hernandez


Counterculture in the United States

Counterculture is when a group comes up and tries to challenge the ordinary rule or the usual way things are done. This has happened many times within the history of different countries. However, in the United States, the major counterculture revolution was witnessed in the 1960s and 1970s. This happened due to some people feeling too much restrained by the norms in society and the laws that governed and stated that only some things could be done in a certain way.. For example, only movie productions of stated subjects could be produced, and others were banned, and the same applied to music, thus limiting the power of expression. Therefore with some Americans feeling that it is good to be liberal and not a traditionalist or conservative, they began the counterculture which propagated their ideas. This paper, therefore, discusses the counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s and how this counterculture has affected the way of life present today.

In the 1960s, the counterculture happened in the United States and happened in other Western world countries. It involved many young and youths who believed differently from the beliefs of the society by then. Therefore they decided to begin a movement which could see their views looked into and considered into the community other than just being conservative and following everything they were told they were supposed to do. Even though the youths protested against the formerly approved way of life, they did this with a good spirit, and their demonstration was non-violent. Their fundamental concerns were racial segregation, poverty among so many individuals, pollution of the environment resulting from rapid industrialization, and the discrimination of minority groups.. The youths were not allowed to speak about certain things like the issue of LGBTQ fought for their right of speech.

Some of the essential things that fueled this counterculture were the emergence of tv as a news broadcaster and for entertainment purposes. Others included music like Jefferson Airplane and the Beatles.. Mass media, including films and music, were under censorship before 1960, and this counter culture was why the censorship was removed. The mainstream media had a way of presenting their media productions, and some issues in society were never addressed. However, counterculture brought change to this as people got a complete picture of what happened in the community and the views of different people and not just some things being hidden from the public. The youth who propagated for the ideas of the counter culture created their fashion, music, lifestyle, and magazines to express their views.

The emergence of television specifically was of great importance to the counter culture. Television came about with consumerism, and therefore producers were trying all they can to reach the youths. Therefore it meant that if a person wanted to get the youths and encourage them to buy the products, they had to support them somehow. Thus the television advertisements helped the youth enhance their desire to be considered. The public saw them, and every person was supposed to help the youth by doing away with some restrictions and allowing liberal mindsets and lifestyles to go on.

However, the counter culture was not without resistance. Most of the individuals who were actively involved were arrested and were forbidden by their elders. The culture was banned by most of the individuals and even some of the states.. However, this did not stop the youth from going forward with what they desired, and therefore, a change had to be made in the kind of societal norms which were being observed then. The counterculture influenced a considerable part of American culture, including fashion, music, literature, and art. It also addressed taboos like xenophobia, racism, and homophobia. LGBTQ community gained a better acceptance into society due to the counterculture. Racial segregation was done away with, and this was a very positive outcome of the counter culture.

In conclusion, therefore, the counterculture had its challenges, advantages, and disadvantages. The positives discussed above were some of the successes of the counter culture in making society a better and a fairer place to live in. it can be said that it shaped the modern culture we have today. Its challenges or disadvantages are that it is accused of misleading the youth, and therefore most of the traditional values and norms which were good are almost non-existent. The counterculture, most of the time, disregarded culture, and consequently, we have an unruly society that is also liberal.


Brinkley, Alan, John Michael Giggie, and Andrew Huebner. The unfinished nation: A concise history of the American people. McGraw-Hill, 1993. Buck, Simon H. “Pete Seeger’s Rainbow Quest: televisual old age, intergenerational, and US folk music.” The Sixties 12, no. 1 (2019):