Counterculture

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Counterculture (also written counter-culture) is a sociological term used to describe the values and norms of behavior of a cultural group, or subculture, that run counter to those of the social mainstream of the day,[1] the cultural equivalent of political opposition. It is a neologism attributed to Theodore Roszak.[2][3][4]

Although distinct countercultural undercurrents have existed in many societies, here the term refers to a more significant, visible phenomenon that reaches critical mass, flowers, and persists for a period of time. A countercultural movement expresses the ethos, aspirations, and dreams of a specific population during an era—a social manifestation of zeitgeist. It is important to distinguish between "counterculture," "subculture," and "fringe culture".

Countercultural milieux in 19th-century Europe included Romanticism, Bohemianism, and the Dandy. Another movement existed in a more fragmentary form in the 1950s, both in Europe and the United States, in the form of the Beat generation,[2] followed in the 1960s by the hippies and anti-Vietnam War protesters.

The term came to prominence in the news media, as it was used to refer to the social revolution that swept North America, Western Europe, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand during the 1960s and early 1970s.[1][2][4]

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Sixties and seventies counterculture

In the United States, the counterculture of the 1960s became identified with the rejection of conventional social norms of the 1950s. Counterculture youth rejected the cultural standards of their parents, especially with respect to racial segregation and initial widespread support for the Vietnam War.[5][6]

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