Assignment 1 Blog 4 : 1960s rock ’n’ roll : The Youth Generation of rise.

Few eras in American history have been as controversial as the 1960s, a period marked by the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, and the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. Popular music played an incontestable role in defining the character and spirit of the 1960s. The baby boom generation played a vital role in the political and cultural events of this period, and the boomers were a generation identified with rock ’n’ roll. (Starr,  L. and Waterman, C. , 2014)Folk music has always been an important part of the American music tradition, and topical songs – personal stories linked to current political and cultural events- are an essential part of that heritage.( Friedlander, P. , 1996 )

In the 1960s, The United States was a period of turmoil and trouble of politics. One of the first issues that it is the civil rights movement. Young people in a variety of demonstrations intended to focus attention on racial segregation and discrimination. Serious racial discrimination has been the cause of American society, constantly causing resistance and struggle. It was until 1964 that the United States Congress formally abolished the apartheid system through the Civil Rights Act.


Secondly, the United States launched the Vietnam War to the United States has brought great casualties. Young students against the United States involved in the Vietnamese civil war, mass demonstrations everywhere. However, despite the opposition domestic and foreign, President Jenson continued to expand the war, the gradual escalation of the Vietnam War in the 1960s, resulting in young people’s strong dissatisfaction with the reality of society.


In this case, many young people left the big cities, left the family, to the suburbs or the countryside, the formation of community, living a simple group life. They oppose authority, against tradition (including traditional culture) and against existing order. They also do the opposite in clothing and hairstyle, and also generally take hallucinogenic drugs. So they get a nickname “Hippies”, referring to living outside the established society of non-obedient young people. Finally, sexual liberation is a prominent phenomenon in the 1960s. On the “sexual” traditional concept of suspicion and contempt, illegal cohabitation is considered to be a substitute for married life.inkr-%e5%ac%89%e7%9a%ae%e9%ad%82%e4%b9%8b%e5%a3%b9-%e6%84%9b%e8%88%87%e5%92%8c%e5%b9%b3%e7%9a%84%e8%8a%b1%e4%b9%8b%e4%bd%bf%e8%80%85-%e6%8d%8d%e8%a1%9b%e8%87%aa%e6%88%91%e7%9a%84%e6%b5%aa%e6%bc%ab

The meaning of the word “freedom” meant not only the end of racial discrimination, but also the rebellion against the previous generation of sexuality. In this context, rock and roll constitute an indispensable part of life in the 60’s. It reflects and influences the feelings and aspirations of a generation of young people, and gives their views on life, society, and the world. These are particularly clear in the folk rock songs represented by Bob Dylan.

1960s is the time of the rise of rock and roll, But also rock music against the beginning of national violence; Since then, rock music is the young people that way to against hegemony.


  • Starr, L. and Waterman, C.(2014)American popular music : From minstrelsy to MP3. Oxford University Press.
  • Starr, L. and Waterman, C. (2007)American popular music. Oxford University Press.
  • Friedlander, P. (1996) Rock and roll : A social history. United States of America, Westview Press.
  • Stuessy, J. and Lipscomb, S. (2009) Rock and roll. 6th edition : Its history and stylistic development. Person Education, Inc.,

2 thoughts on “Assignment 1 Blog 4 : 1960s rock ’n’ roll : The Youth Generation of rise.

  1. I was really engaged to begin with on this blog as a lot of my research has been based on subcultural activity, and I’ve always been a fan of the ‘hippie’ movement, however, and this is a critique simply from the eyes of the assignment brief, there is no real issue of debate here for discussion, not one of current merit at least. However, I do suggest that you can reshape this and perhaps localise it. Lunar Festival is held on the outskirts of Birmingham and is essentially a modern-day hippie festival built upon the ideas Woodstock and Glastonbury ideologically conveyed in their original editions. Considering your tailored look at ‘youth subcultures’ and their origins in the sixties, I would suggest taking a look at several key works that would’ve added depth to your understanding and discussion throughout including Dick Hebdige’s Subculture: The Meaning of Style (1979) and Hall & Jefferson’s work Resistance Through Rituals: Youth Subcultures in Post-War Britain (1975) which both develop the thoughts you’ve outlined here and expand the notion of the subculture, particularly youth subcultural behaviour. If you were to develop this thought into a current debate, I would question to what extent the concept of freedom portrayed by the hippie movement has stood the test of time and integrated itself within the youth subcultures of today fifty years later, especially with subcultural activity surrounding the Grime scene being somewhat similar in concept.


    Hall, S. and Jefferson, T. (1975) Resistance Through Rituals: Youth Subcultures in Post-War Britain. Birmingham: Taylor & Francis Group.
    Hebdige, D (1979). Subculture: The Meaning of Style. Abingdon: Routledge.

  2. I enjoyed the way in which you contextualise the time, place and space that music became intertwined with American 60s culture and why activism in music became so important. If you are interested in this subject, also take a look at Stax Records’ history, a fascinating take on how music soothed, and ultimately provided a narrative for love that, despite not being intentionally activistic in nature, was picked up by European hippies and American and Canadian Music festivals for the overlapping narrative of love being the answer. The visceral intent of the music provided a solace for the musicians in Memphis city who were involved in it that ignore rules of segregation, black musicians working with white musicians. Political change was not their motive, but eventually became an integral part of the label, for good and bad, as the documentary points out. Ultimately Stax was echoing the woes of America though and in those times, it was increasingly difficult not to become political, for some of the reasons you have pointed out.

    I would say, bringing it into context for today would be good. Jack mentions Glastonbury and Lunar Festival as having some of the hippie ethos at their heart. I would go a step further to say that the festival in its evolution became commercialised though. Woodstock was free. The original Glastonbury was free. They were about people coming together to celebrate love. There are still traces of that at the heart of such festivals, but ultimately the experience and the reason many people are pay hundreds of pounds is arguably more consumption based.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s