Essay On The Hippie Movement

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When talking hippies so many things come to mind, drugs sex, and music are probably some of the first. However, the hippies or “flower children” as they preferred to be called were actually more complex than history gives them credit for. There were a number of specific circumstances that created the hippy movement and gave them the mass following they possessed. When the hippies came to be in the second half of the 1960s they heavily drew on the ideas brought on by the “beat” generation of the 1950s. As Rorabaugh mentions that in the 1950s the U.S had essentially reached a period of universal conformity (15). It was during this time that the beat writers like Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg exploded into the countercultural movement. Both the hippies and the Beats shared the…show more content…
However, when looking at what its legacy has become today it had done more good than harm. Matusow claims that the hippie movement in the end eroded the liberal values that had kept bourgeois society afloat and the character type that had been its foundation (307). When looking at the issues that Rorabaugh claims it highlighted we see that it helped champion important social issues like feminism, civil rights, and the environment (2). Previous the hippie’s counterculture the conformist society did not challenge these issues or pay much mind to them. Like all movements it also had its issues. Matusow states that by the 1970s social discipline was eroding and parental discipline declined, sexual promiscuity and divorce rates rose, worker productivity fell, and traditional institutions like the army, the churches, and the government lost authority (306). Depending on one’s own beliefs the hippie movement could be seen as eye opening or as the complete erosion of morality. However, it is impossible to argue at the profound influence and legacy the hippie countercultural was able to
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