Hot Stuff Analysis

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Many historians regard the 60’s as the decade of positive change, particularly for minority groups. As a result the 1970s, which followed the socially impactful 60's, are often seen as “the decade where nothing happened” or, more specifically, “nothing good happened”. Edward Berkowitz attempts to break this “nothing happened” stigma through his novel, appropriately named Something Happened. The decade of the oil crisis, the Watergate scandal, and the Iranian hostage crisis, also provided legislative progress for many minority groups. Thomas Borstelmann acknowledges the decade's “formal equality” but is wary to accept that society was as progressive. Alice Echols’ however, asserts that the decade’s dance phenomenon expanded social equality, in her novel Hot Stuff. Echols and Berkowitz unanimously feel the 70’s made way for increased acceptance of minority groups; despite disagreeing on which minority groups benefitted. Borstelmann provides a much more skeptical analysis stating the 70s provided “formal equality” while “…private prejudice and its very real negative impacts still endured” Alice Echols applauds the influence the 70s had on inclusion of previously underrepresented groups; women, homosexuals and African Americans. “The 1970s are associated with identity politics, but they were also a time when numbers of gay men, African Americans, and women ditched predictable social script.” Echols’ analysis of the decade is presented through the lens of her own

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