A Brief Analysis Of the Counterculture Movement of the 1960s

2857 Words Nov 22nd, 2007 12 Pages
A.Definitions of the CountercultureIn its most common and initial sense, the counterculture refers to the culture, especially of young people, with values or lifestyles in opposition to those of the established culture in the dictionary. Until its appearance in 1969 in Theodore Roszak's influential book, The Making of a Counter Culture, "counterculture", written as one word or two, has become the standard term to describe the cultural revolt of the young. Although distinct countercultural undercurrents exist in all societies, here the term counterculture refers to a more significant, visible phenomenon that reaches critical mass and persists for a period of time. According to Roszak's definition, the counterculture movement refers to all …show more content…
Burroughs's Naked Lunch (1959) are often considered the most important works of the Beat Generation. The term "Beat" was reported to be coined by Jack Kerouac in the late 1940s, quickly becoming a slang term in America after World War II, meaning "exhausted" or "beat down" and provided this generation with a definitive label for their personal and social positions and perspectives. They are influenced by Eastern philosophy and religion (e.g., Zen Buddhism) and known especially for their use of non-traditional forms and their rejection of conventional social values.

The Beat Generation phenomenon itself has had a huge influence on Western Culture more broadly. In many ways, The Beat Generation can be seen as the first modern "subculture". During the very conformist post-World War II era they were one of the forces engaged in a questioning of traditional values which produced a break with the mainstream culture that to this day people react to or against. There's no question that Beats produced a great deal of interest in lifestyle experimentation (notably in regards to sex and drugs); and they had a large intellectual effect in encouraging the questioning of authority (a force behind the anti-war movement); and many of them were very active in popularizing interest in Zen Buddhism in the West. During the 1960s other cultural movements absorbed "Beat" ideas and attitudes, and those who practiced something similar to the "Beat" lifestyle were
Open Document