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Social Media and the Counterculture of the 1960s

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Meghan Gifford

on 19 November 2013

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Transcript of Social Media and the Counterculture of the 1960s

Social Media and the Counterculture of the 1960s
Conclusion
Through diverse media forms with different methods of expression, the music, art, and fashion of the 1960s Counterculture movement created a culture in a state of protest
Introduction to the Counterculture
A cultural movement that used an alternative lifestyle to advocate for social change
The Role of
Social Media
Seeking a better world, people used music, politics, and alternative lifestyles to create the Counterculture
Music
The music of the Counterculture moved towards an electric version of rock, reflecting the off-beat, psychedelic characteristics of the movement
Long held values and norms of behavior seemed to break down, particularly among the young
Grew from a confluence of events and issues which served as intellectual catalysts for exceptionally rapid change during the era
Historical Context
Movement took place between the early 60s and early 70s
Gained momentum during Vietnam intervention, coupled with rising engagement in civil rights movement
Baby boom led to large percentage of young, affluent, people
Tensions tended to flow along generational lines regarding the war in Vietnam, race, sexuality, women's rights, traditional modes of authority, experimentation with psychoactive drugs, etc
Culture represented change and experimentation
Many members of the Counterculture saw their own lives as ways to express political and social beliefs
Personal appearance, song lyrics, and the arts were some of the methods used to make both individual and communal statements.
The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, The Grateful Dead all important to the movement
Emergence of "protest music" - a form that used lyrics to spread social messages
Phil Ochs: I Ain't Marching Anymore - 1965
“It's always the old to lead us to the war/It's always the young to fall/Call it "Peace" or call it "Treason," Call it "Love" or call it "Reason/But I ain't marchin' any more"

Bob Dylan: Masters of War - 1963
“You fasten all the triggers/For the others to fire
Then you set back and watch/When the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion'/As young people's blood
Flows out of their bodies/And is buried in the mud.”

Country Joe and the Fish: Feel Like I'm Fixin To Die - 1967
"Well, come on mothers throughout the land/Pack your boys off to Vietnam/Come on fathers, don't hesitate/Send 'em off before it's too late. Be the first ones on your block/To have your boy come home in a box!"

Art
Fluxus, psychedelic art, pop art were influential in embodying the ideas of the movement
The art of the Counterculture is associated with avant-garde and anti-art sentiments
Fluxus
Psychedelic Art
Pop Art
Fashion
Members of the Counterculture used their physical appearance and clothing to express their social and political values
Men and women dressed in similar style, challenging the prevailing gender differences of their time
Bright colors, unusual styles. Often self-made to protest corporate establishment
Represents the revolutionary political, social and spiritual sentiments that were derived from these drug-induced, psychedelic states of consciousness
Aimed to blur the boundaries between "high" art and "low" culture
Challenged traditional fine art: analogous to the counterculture movement challenging the established mainstream culture
Driven by a utilitarian philosophy in which color, scale, material, and font were secondary to affordability and available space
The word fluxus arose from a published call for a common front of artists against culture
Artists aimed to integrate life into art through the use of found events, sounds, and materials, "thereby bringing about social and economic change in the art world"
Question:
How did participants in the Counterculture movement use culture as a protest mechanism?
Thesis
Participants in the Counterculture movement harnessed the unique characteristics of diverse media, and their convergence embodied a unified stance against tradition with a power and scope unattainable by a single medium alone.
These social media forms all demonstrated a willingness to challenge authority, and a preference for greater social tolerance
Taken together, they present a unified message against tradition and establishment - one that was able to create lasting societal change
Thank you!
Questions?
For the first time, haute couture designers weren’t dictating all the trends; instead, inspiration for many of the latest styles from young people on the street.
Though powerful alone, the repetition of these sentiments expressed in different ways reinforced each other and strengthened the message - reaching a fragmented audience and connecting with people in different aspects of life
Full transcript