Challenging Traditional Social Norms: The 1960's

1467 words - 6 pages

During the 1960’s young adults began to challenge traditional social norms through new forms of self-expression and opinion. New organizations arose to provide a platform for social change and the realization of new agendas to include the fight for free speech and the breakdown of segregation. Throughout the 1960’s more than 70,000 participated activism throughout thirteen states (Anderson 47). Over the course of the sixties many activist organizations fought side by side for their rights as a full American citizen.
The sixties was also a time of unmourns growth in population size. In 1964 and 1965 the first babies born after World War II were celebrating their 18th birthdays. Postwar birth rate resulted in the largest generation in history, just over 70 million (Anderson 89). The sixties generation included baby boomers and their older siblings born during World War II who were referred as the “first wave”. With a great economy, new technology and post war validation, these young baby boomers brought new life to America. New adventures like Spring Break offered many new adventures for young guys, in search for “beach, broads and booze” (Anderson 89). Furthermore, birth control also became available for married women in the sixties. Although most single women wore their friend’s wring in order to get their monthly prescription. “Sexy” was the new fashion during the sixties. Media quickly changed the way women dressed, instead of high bobby sox; women felt comfortable showing more skin without feeling objection (783).
Postwar era also saw a big change in the number high school students that went to college. College attendance nearly doubled and a college education became critical marker of entry into the middle class (791). The government aided to veterans by paying for their college through the GI Bill. With such a strong economy and President Johnson’s enlargement of the student loan program almost half of all kids 18 to 21 were attending college (Anderson 95). Universities were now in completion with each other for the most distinguished faculty and prestige. Most importantly baby boomers were separating their beliefs from their parents. They realized that theirs values were unique; they were more idealistic, and more tolerant, and less concerned with Communism.
Music was also important in the sixties. Many musicians had been declaring a new era. Of all the bands in the sixties the Beatles were having the most impact in America. The Beatles looked and acted differently than Americans. They had long hair and were not afraid to even joke about the Queen of England. Americans grew up in the fifty’s learning “to respect your elders.” When group arrived to America in 1964 at Kennedy International Airport they were met by 3000 screaming fans, of course mostly teenage girls (Anderson 92). The Beatles stormed America doing performing shows all throughout February. It was no question that the Beatles debut on Ed Sullivan...

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