How the Hippies Counterculture Transformed Music Essay

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In the 1950’s and 1960’s, rebellion and music were synonymous. The 1950’s brought widespread attention to a new kind of music coined as “Rock ‘n’ Roll”. Because parents deemed the music as sinful, the youth used it to establish an identity for themselvess. In the 1960’s, the rebellion was given a collective charge when young adults voiced displeasure over the country’s entrance into the Vietnam War and the use of nuclear weapons. One group within this movement was coined the “hippies”. This paper will discuss the beliefs of the hippies of Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco, California and illustrate how the hippie “counterculture” transformed into an evolution of music, in the making of protest songs and the new “psychedelic” sound. It will…show more content…
Haight-Ashbury had a history of being an entertainment center, capitalizing on San Francisco’s economic success in the Gold Rush.
In his book titled The Making of a Counterculture: Reflections on the Technocratic Society and Its Youthful Opposition, historian Theodore Roszak described a “counterculture” as typically involving disapproval or an attempted dismissal of those institutions which presently hold some level of dominance, while simultaneously having hope for an improved life in a new society, in terms of thinking and being. There has been some level of debate, discussing whether or not the hippie movement of the 1960’s and 1970’s matched this definition. Was the movement solely a product of the hippie’s clustered university lifestyle, where common experimentation with drugs as well as political activism served as their own sources of rebellion? This notion was argued by anthropologist William L. Partridge, in his case study titled The Hippie Ghetto: The Natural History of a Subculture.
Roszak argues in his book about a hippie rejection of technocracy: the system of organizations and elite experts that influences society to attach itself to the importance of efficiency, rationalizing, planning, and necessity, which hippies felt was clearly depicted by the nuclear arms race and fight against communism between the United States and U.S.S.R.

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