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Student Response What are the key differences between your generation and your parents' generation? Do the differences help create harmony or conflict between the two of you? Explain.
Fashion Mainstream… You will never get anywhere in life dressed like that. Counterculture… Why don’t you loosen up? You dress like everyone else. Be an individual.
Communal Living Mainstream… How can you live in all that dirt with so many people? Don’t you miss your privacy? Counterculture… Why do you feel the need to fence yourself off from everybody else? Don’t you feel isolated?
Political Activism Mainstream… You should either love America or leave it. Counterculture… How can you just blindly swear allegiance to the American government?
Sexuality Mainstream… Your sexual conduct is not only immoral but dangerous. Counterculture… Why cant you respect my choices?
Music Mainstream… You call this music? How can you listen to it? Counterculture… Your music is boring and unimaginative. Why don’t you get with it?
Drugs Mainstream… Drugs are against the law and will take you nowhere. Counterculture… I’m not hurting anyone. Why don’t you just lay off?
Wrap Up What were the major differences between the mainstream and the counterculture? Why was there such a huge cultural rift during the 1960s? With which group do you most identify? Why? If you modeled your life after mainstream values, what would it be like? If you modeled your life after counterculture values, what would it be like? Which result best fits who you want to be in the future? In your opinion, was the counterculture’s agenda a positive one? Do you think the effects of the counterculture on American society were positive or negative? Explain.
Counterculture Editorial Assume the role of a journalist. Write an editorial in the New York Times that comments on whether the effects of the counterculture on American society were positive or negative. See the last page of your handout for guidelines.