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The Sixties Countercultures

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The Sixties were a time of major change in United States society. We had reached beyond modernity with technology, consumerism, and the youth leading us to the suburbs of discontent. According to Hugh Heclo, “There came surge of personal discontent and social self-questioning that would constitute the great awakening of the 1960s.” He goes on to argue that people no longer accepted the status quo and from the counter culture groups we have studied in class this is evident. People were more concerned with morals and institutional openness in order to create a better vision of the world than the traditional ideals of the Cold War era. Heclos’ main argument is that this vision is the legacy of the Sixties is the tendency for peoples to question their governments’ practices, in the name of a more egalitarian society. I agree with his assertions and can see proof in the Yippee movement, Students for a democratic society, and Young Americans for Freedom. The counterculture shows how action was taken to restructure the government in their own way in order to help the newly oppressed. While the groups do not exist in the same way today, the actions they took made a lasting impression on the fabric of society and government. The Yippies were radical and wanted a complete rejection and reformulation of the American system. They were unwilling to work within existing institutions and used theatrical tactics to demonstrate their discontent. They partook in drug use, enjoyed rock n
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