The Sixties Movement

The Sixties Movement
In this essay I am going to examine Arthur Marwick’s argument that the sixties were
characterised by counter-cultural movements across a number of areas. I will
consider the extent to which counter-cultural movements can be identified, see what
impact they do or do not have or have not on mainstream culture and see if there is
any evidence to support Marwick’s view. The areas I am going to use to analyse his
argument are history of science and religion. In this essay the 1960s will include the
periodisation of developments and movements of Britain, France, Italy and America
between 1958 and 1973.
So how can counter-cultural movements be identified? To be able to identify a
counter-culture we must first define what we mean by ‘culture’ and define what
‘mainstream’ culture is. Marwick describes ‘culture’ as a totality of attitudes, values
and practices of a group. This could be a small and specific group like ‘youth culture,’
which could refer to important issues involving the young in a period like the sixties, or
big like the ‘Western Culture,’ which describes the Western way of life through the
twentieth century. Mainstream culture is the attitudes, values and practices that are
established in Western countries. The counter-culture of the sixties, as described by
Marwick, is something that counter’s or significantly modifies, what had been prior to
1958, the ‘mainstream’ (or dominant) features of Western culture. Marwick suggests
that in the Sixties the mainstream culture included, almost other things; a rigid social
hierarchy, subordination of women to men and children to parents, repressed attitudes
to sex, respect for authority and complacency over technological advancement.
Therefore we can identify counter-culture in the sixties as something that is opposed
to or trying to challenge some part of sixties mainstream culture in some way.
I am going to look briefly at history of science and religion to see if any...