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Exploring 60’s Popular Culture in America

Since the 19th century, there has been a deep divergence between masters working for the public and loners. Last was created from their convictions. Since that time, artists have begun to realize themselves as a race of outcasts. The history of art ceases to be a chronicle of the life of successful masters. It becomes the story of a handful of loners. Cultural change in the 1960s was huge.



Counterculture 60s is traditionally treated as a phenomenon collectively identified with the ideology of youth rebellion. Also, with the aesthetics of hippies, the “new left” consciousness and the “cultural revolution.” It was in America that it turned on such a large scale. It was a theoretically equipped movement. The echoes of those cultural upheavals are still easily recognized in Western consumer culture.


Much work has been written about this, including free essay samples. College students and anyone else can research papers and find many free essays. Everyone can see the ideal culture essay example for perception. Such pop culture essays help to understand the people of that time better. It will be beneficial to read essays on popular culture for students who write works on the topic of culture. Students can use essays on popular culture for research papers and learning new information. Many philosophers considered it the last attempt to bring about a humanistic revolution.

The development of the culture of the 60s

The development of American culture in the second half of the 20th century followed several main lines. First, the birth of television mass culture took place at this time. America has finally become a single cultural space, soldered together by a unified set of recognizable television characters – from film actors to TV show hosts and cartoon characters.

Secondly, in the competition between “high” – elitist and “low” – mass culture, the latter won an unconditional victory. If in the 1920s and 1930s, American writers, representatives of the “lost generation,” such as:

  • Fitzgerald;
  • Hemingway;
  • Dos Passos;

All of them had the opportunity to become masters of thought. In the 1950s and 1960s, the public consciousness of the United States was much simpler. Also, more graphic forms of cultural reflection and promotional materials for an all-consuming “consumer culture.”

Thirdly, the rapid “massification” and unification of American culture gave rise to a counter-movement. First in the face of the beatniks of the 1950s, then in the form of various countercultures and pop culture in the 1960s. It can be argued that the development of American popular culture and its countercultural alter ego after World War II was one of human history’s most powerful bursts of creativity. Never before have so many people simultaneously been involved in various forms of cultural creativity. The quality and refinement of the final cultural product did not reach the high standards of previous eras. But broad access to the “means of cultural production” allowed those who could not even dream of anything like this to reveal their potential.

Influence of culture on America

No less important was the fact that the number of consumers of new cultural forms increased significantly. Millions of entertainment industry customers provided its owners with a steady income. The concept of “entertainment” as a worthy and necessary form of human activity, leisure as an essential part of life. And not a simple addition to obligatory and morally justified work was finally formed in America in the second half of the 20th century.

At the same time, it is impossible not to admit that were:

  • the rebellion against cultural conformity of the 1950s;
  • the hippie movement;
  • the ideas of free love;
  • experiments with drugs;
  • the passion for rock music.

All this was also a rebellion of the baby boom generation. The successes achieved by parents did not impress young Americans. A keen sense of social injustice forced some of them to come out supporting the civil rights movement. Someone voluntarily “downshifts,” abandons career growth, moves to “flower children” communes, and so on. The Vietnam War, which became the first “television” war in human history, reinforced all these tendencies and helped to justify a cultural rebellion that otherwise might have remained just an unrealized plan.

Woodstock rock festival

The countercultural movement of the 1960s culminated with the Woodstock Rock Festival, held in New York State in August 1969. Janis Joplin, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Who, Jefferson Airplane, Joan Baez, Joe Cocker, Jimi Hendrix, and other “icons” of the rock movement performed in front of 400 thousand spectators for several days. Never before or since Woodstock has the famous slogan “sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll” been more visibly put into practice. However, having become the culmination of the hippie era, Woodstock also marked its end.


The “gravitational waves” of cultural processes spread widely throughout the world. It was penetrating, among other things, behind the “Iron Curtain.” It was facilitated by the economic dominance of the United States in the production of consumer goods. The sound recording became the most important agent of cultural influence at that time. Music turned from simple entertainment into a powerful translator of cultural codes.