Counterculture Overview


The idea of counterculture comes from the English language (counterculture). This is the name of the set of attitudes, actions, customs and values that are opposed to the principles of the dominant culture.

It can be said that the counterculture is a movement that promotes and defends these ways of life that are contrary to or different from the most common. It is generally accepted that a trend is countercultural when there is a group of people holding it for an extended time.

According to abbreviationfinder, the counterculture emerges as a small manifestation that stays out of the market and away from the media. Over time, such a movement can add followers and grow: the counterculture, at this point, can generate a change in the dominant culture or be absorbed by it.

The hippie movement that emerged in the 1960s is an example of a counterculture. In its origins, it was a rebellious current, which demanded changes in society. The hippies wore clothes and hairstyles that characterized them, listened to a certain type of music and even coined their own expressions. The security forces, at that time, persecuted the hippies and repressed their public demonstrations. Over the years, however, the dominant culture ended up integrating various facets of the hippie movement that were previously countercultural. Wearing a t-shirt with the peace symbol, to cite one case, is no longer countercultural.

Another example of a counterculture is punk. He broke in with criticism of the established system and promoting individual or community self-management. Today, however, punk clothing and music are part of the culture and fashion industry.

We speak specifically of the counterculture of the 1960s to refer to a phenomenon that took place especially in the United States and the United Kingdom, although it later reached most Western countries between that same decade and the middle of the next. This anti-establishment movement gained strength simultaneously with the growth of civil rights fighters in North America, and it became revolutionary in character when military intervention in Vietnam expanded.

Over the years, new cultural forms began to appear, as well as a dynamic subculture that celebrated experimentation, modern versions of bohemian culture, and the aforementioned hippie movement, among other alternative lifestyles to those imposed by the majority. The creativity began to have more space in society, and this can be seen, for example, the phenomenon caused by the arrival of The Beatles and the fact that films no longer suffer a process of profound censorship.

The counterculture of the 1960s is clearly distinguished from anti-authoritarianism, for example, a movement that opposed the principle of absolute government and advocated for civil liberties and the equality of all citizens in the eyes of the law. After the First World War, the “birth explosion” led to the emergence of a number of potentially disillusioned young people at the forefront of the restructuring of democratic society.

The abundance of postwar allowed many people counterculture generation focus on different priorities from those of their parents, who had been immersed in the typical concerns of the era of the Depression. Another characteristic feature of this era is that a significant portion of the behaviors and the causes that represented them were soon assimilated by society, even though the counterculture was made up of a clear minority. It is worth mentioning that many consider the assassination of John F. Kennedy as the starting point of the counterculture.