The Hippie Subculture Essay

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The Hippie Movement: The Philosophy behind the Counterculture
The sixties was a decade of liberation and revolution, a time of great change and exciting exploration for the generations to come. It was a time of anti-war protests, free love, sit-ins, naked hippie chicks and mind-altering drugs. In big cities such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and Paris, there was a passionate exchange of ideas, fiery protests against the Vietnam War, and a time for love, peace and equality. The coming together of like-minded people from around the world was spontaneous and unstoppable. This group of people, which included writers, musicians, thinkers and tokers, came to be known as the popular counterculture, better known as hippies. The dawning
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They chose to rub against the grain of society, not with it. The very clothes they wore were a testament to their individuality. From bell bottom pants, halter tops, tie-dye prints, all the way to their preferred style of long, straight hair or picked out afros, the hippies were anything socially undignified (West, 2008). They listened to the sounds of Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, and the Grateful Dead while experimenting with recreational drugs, most specifically marijuana, psychedelic mushrooms and LSD. In a time where adults were going to work, church, and attempting to stay a virgin until marriage, the hippies were anything but conservative and society rejected them for that. They enjoyed living a life of deviance and being unconventional and were happy living outside of the mainstream (West, 2008). Their way of life can be best described by the labeling theory, the idea that deviance and conformity result not so much from what people do as from how others respond to those actions (Macionis, 2008). Conforming was bad and diversity and difference was to be celebrated. Authority was bad and it was popular to ridicule anyone no matter what their position in life. Anything regarded as a “social grace” was tossed and therefore their society was looked down upon.
The social movement of the hippies can be explained as part of the new social movement’s theory,

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