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CONTENTS

TO WHAT EXTENT DID THE HIPPIE MOVEMENT HAVE AN

IMPACT ON THE AMERICAN SOCIETY?

 

INTRODUCTION

 

A)            FROM THE SOCIAL ASPECTS

-         INTEGRATION OF BLACK PEOPLE

-         FEMINIST MOVEMENT

-         INTEGRATION OF HOMOSEXUAL

 

B)            FROM THE ENVIRONMENT AND PACIFIST ASPECTS

-         THE ENVIRONMENT ASPECTS

-         THE PACIFIST ASPECTS

 

C)            FROM THE CULTURAL ASPECTS

-         MUSIC

-         BOOKS, MOVIES, SHOWS

-         ART

-         DRUGS

 

D)           AN EXAMPLE: THE CYBER-REVOLUTION

 

E)             FAILURES OF THE HIPPIE MOVEMENT


APENDIX

CONCLUSION

SOURCES

 

 

INTRODUCTION

The hippie movement was created in the 60s in the United State, it was composed essentially of young people who were from middle class. Hippies were protesters and revolutionaries, they wanted to change the society of their time. They were against the way of life of their parents and contest it, in particular industrialism society with materialism, and the government and any idea of authority. They certainly didn't want to live like them. To reach their objectives, they acted in different ways. For example to avoid the war in Vietnam, they demonstrated in the street numerous times, in particular in may 1971, when 500 000 demonstrators gathered together. Finally, most of them decided to abandon their hippie commitments because they were about thirty years old, and wanted to set up home. So that, step by step, the dream of hippies disappeared. We ask us to what extent did the hippie movement have an impact on the American society.

We found that their legacy is divided in four parts. We will study the hippie heritage from the social, environmental, pacifist, and cultural aspects.

 

 

A) FROM THE SOCIAL ASPECTS

In the 60s, the equality of all was commended. They thought that everybody had to have a place in the society.

 

-         INTEGRATION OF BLACK PEOPLE

We can notice today an evolution of the place of Black people in the society, particularly in America where discrimination was a very big problem. For example, the segregation which was legalized during the hippie's peak, has today disappeared. An other example is the creation of a law in 1965, called Voting Rights Act, it permitted black people to vote free, like white people did it. Since this date, the things changed considerably, indeed today black people are most integrated in the society, the election of Barack Obama as the President of the USA shows this evolution. The hippies thought that Black people should have the same rights as the Whites. They supported, for example, Shirley Chisholm, who was the first American-African woman elected to Congress. So there were a change of the place of black people in the society, particularly in the 60's. This is why, we think that hippies contributed to this evolution and that without them things would not have changed as soon as they did.

A poster on the shop window of a store.

Shirley Chishlom, the first African-American elected to Congress.

Barack Obama, the first black president of USA, elected in 2008.


-         FEMINIST MOVEMENT

More over, in the 60s, lots of feminist movements were appeared. In September 1968, there were a demonstration for the rights of women in Chicago, this one formed a group, the Radical Women. They protested the image of Miss America, an image that oppressed women in every area. This organization was created by people whose some were hippies, for example Susan Stern who launched Radical Women. This movement permitted to change the mentalities of people about the women by lots of actions like demonstrations, so hippies belonged these movement too.

The hippies were stand by women, indeed women were stark naked because it was a part of their life style and felt good like this. The men, by solidarity anti-sexist, were also stark naked. Thus hippies permitted women to assert themselves and their body. The hippie's legacy for the women is the appearance of bikini and mini-skirt.

The hippies changed the society's view of the women. Following these, numerous laws are created, like the equal Pay Act which making illegal employers to pay a woman less than what a man would receive for the same job. Even if today, the application of these is contestable, it permitted to change status of women's job.

Therefore, the hippies gave us an important legacy about the liberation of the women. We can also notice that there is a real difference between the place of the woman in the society today and in the 60's.

A bare hippie woman during the festival Woodstock.

 

The symbol of the Radical Women.

 

-         INTEGRATION OF HOMOSEXUAL

However it's not the only one field where hippies gave us an heritage. At the end of the 60's, in the United States, numerous groups were created to defend the rights of the homosexuals, like «Gay and Lesbian studies» which was an association established in the universities. «Gay Liberation Front» is an other example these groups, it was created after the Stonewall riots where gays and police officers confronted each other. The first confrontation was in a sort of hippie bar, the Stonewall Inn, and hippies participated to the riots. This conflict was considered as the beginning of the demand of the equality rights of the homosexuals. After, lots of demonstrations took place, and most were led by hippies, like Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, themselves were homosexuals.

Since the 80's, laws against the homosexuals were disappear, indeed homosexual were decriminalized in 1982. Also, the classification of the gays as mentally ill person was abolished by the World Health Organization.

Gilbert Baker who was inspired by the hippie’s values, like sex, life, curing, pride, sun, serenity, art, harmony or mind, created the flag in rainbow, one of the most important symbols of the homosexual community, in the end of the 70.

 

Hippies manifestations against gay discrimation.

 

Antinwar rally in Bryant Park, NYC 1970.

So today, the place of homosexual in the society is not the same as in the 60's, so we can think that all the actions of the hippies had a impact on this and that hippies gave us an important legacy about the integration of homosexuals in the American society.

 

E) FAILURES OF THE HIPPIE MOVEMENT

Some of projects of the hippie movement do not realized for different reasons.

The hippie movement was against the consumer society, one of their dream was to see a system which don't organized by the money. But today, since some months, we take a financial crisis. That's prove that their objectives to live in a non-materialist society had not work.

We know that the hippies advocated the organic food. But we can see today that numerous GMOs are present in the american food and that the Monsanto firm, which produces lots of GMOs, has a turnover of several billions dollars (more than 8 billions in 2007).

More over, in spite of all demonstrations of the hippie movement against war, for example, to Vietnam, it exist again numerous wars in the world like the fight ethnic in Kenya or the war in palestine against israel.

Like we saw in the example: the cyber-revolution, it's the hippie movement which establish internet. The hippies wanted to creat a place where everybody can find free information. But at our time, internet take magnitude much more important. And we can do shopping on internet, it's contrary to the wish of hippies to see a non-materialist society.

Thus, in spite of efforts of the hippie movement, some of their dreams didn't achieve.


 

B) FROM THE ENVIRONMENT AND PACIFIST ASPECTS

-         THE ENVIRONMENT ASPECTS

Since the 60's, the environmental theme has had a more and more important place. The environmental concern has become a world interest. The environment was one of the preoccupations of the hippies, they attached importance to nature. Indeed, in 1967, the hippies put pressure on the government in the USA to create the « Air Quality Act » which provided $428 millions to fight air pollution.

Hippies knew that it is important to make things last. The concepts of « Reduce, Reuse and Recycle » started with the hippies. Today, this concept is recommended by the EPA, the Environmental Protection Agency, which tried to protect the human health and to preserve the natural elements. Thanks to the hippies and associations, the mentality of people changed and people today feel more concern about the environmental problem.

Greenpeace is too a proof that hippies gave us a legacy. Indeed, in 1971, when the organization was created, it was composed of about a dozen men, half environmentalist, half hippies. Since this date, Greenpeace still exists and has made lots of changes in the world, like the protection of the forest or the stopping of nuclear tests in Achitka, in Alaska.

First action of greenpeace in 1971 against the american nuclear tests

Like the political party of « les Verts » in France, the Green party in the Usa might have been the descendant of the hippie movement.

The hippies were also the precursors of the organic food. In some community where lived only hippies, all the food was bio. It was the beginning of the interest on bio food. Today, more and more people eat organic food, and more people would buy it, if it was cheaper.

So, since the 60's, the really evolution of environmental concern and the organic food place in the people life, is certainly, for a part, an hippie legacy, without the majority of people knowing it.

 

-         THE PACIFIST ASPECTS

« Flower Power » was the slogan of the hippie movement. This term was symbolized by a flower and represented nonviolence. Indeed, the hippie movement was pacifist. The expression « Flower Power » is due to « Flower Child » which represent children who buy flowers and distribute to unknowns.

The expression « Flower Power » has been reused numerous times since in movies and songs. For example, the famous author-composer, Stevie Wonder had composed a song called « Power Flower », Zazie, a French musician, had also a song called « Flower Power ».

Another hippies heritage is the peaceful protest. Indeed, in 1966, 400 000 people demonstrated in New York to fight against the Vietnam war. It was one of the first actions to stop a war. Lots of hippies were in this protest and were the bottom of it. Since this event, the Iraq war had been objected by many people in the world, and there were many protests.

Demonstrators against the Vietnam War, in April 1967

Activists protest the war in Iraq in New York

 

So, we can think that hippies influenced current society in this way.

 

 

C) FROM THE CULTURAL ASPECTS

-         MUSIC

Today, many hippies manage important companies. For example, Richard Branson is the head of Virgin Company. Richard Branson was born in 1950, so he was a teenager when the hippie movement was at their apogee. He is above all know for his enterprise Virgin Megastor. It's a company who sell CD for a small price. Hippie wanted people to access free to music. So Richard Branson, who was a hippie, perpetuates the hippie tradition because he tries to generalize the acess to music. More over, Virgin comprises many activities as airline companies and distribution channels. Hippies wanted to create a free space, so the creation of numerous channel since the 60's is the fulfilment of the hippie wish. It is the same thing for the airlines companies, which have developed themselves a lots this last decades. So, Richard Branson perpetuates the hippies ideas because what he do is near that the hippies wanted.

From August 15 to August 18 in 1969 took place the festival of Woodstock in the state of New York. This event was a music festival. Thirty-two of the best-known rock musicians of the day appeared there, like Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, the Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead, the Who, Santana, Joan Baez, etc. Numerous of theses bands are still heard today especially by new generation. Indeed, we noticed that 20% of pupils from USA old 14 between 19 had heard regularly one of these during his adolescence. Woodstock was one the first events who collected so many people at the time. It never had been a assembling like Woodstock before. Today, it still exists numerous festivals as Woodstock in USA, like the Musikfest or the Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival. Theses manifestations are a heritage from the way of thinking of hippies.

At the end of the hippie movement, many people belonged to new faiths: Zen, Hinduism and Buddhism because the spiritual was very important for them. Now, hippie majority adhered to the wave of New Age. This movement isn’t a religion, it’s a spiritual concept while wanting to establish a world government of justice and peace. This movement has so preserved numerous values of the hippie movement. There are many resemblances between theses two movement. New Age becomes more and more important in the USA and other countries of the world because in 90s it touched more than 10 percent of the Americans. Therefore, we can consider New Age as the continuance of hippie movement.

The hippie movement wanted a democratization of the music. In particular, it was permitted thanks to the Beatles. This band was formed in Liverpool in 1960. It was composed of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison. This band knew a very big success all around the world during this time until its dissolution in 1970. This band symbolized the hippie movement especially with the album “Sgt. Pepper' s Lonely Hearts Club Band” went out on June 1st, 1967 in Europe and one day later to the United States. By its mind-expanding influence, its Indian instruments, his case in lively colours, the album synthesized the essence of Summer of Love. The Beatles was very popular. In 1964, they sell 1 billions albums per months. They roughly their popularity when John Lennon said “We’re more popular than Jesus”. After the separation of the band, numerous new musical style were created: punk or metal for example. Today, information opened by new skylines for new artists. It‘s the case of MGMT, an American musical group based in Brooklyn, New York consisting of Ben Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden. This band is the revelation of the year 2008 and it considered like a legacy of hippie because the band says that it is a hippie band itself. The two musician have the same values that the hippie and they play psyche, folk and rock songs. They’ve got long hair and hair band and hippie clothes.

The hippie movement was symbolized by the creation of protester songs. There was not previously. Music a means of expression for the hippies.

 

-         BOOKS, MOVIES, SHOWS

Into the Wild is a movie that was adapted from the eponymous best-seller book. Into this movie, the hero Chris McCandless gave everything up to go alone in Alaska even if it means risking its life there. He follows a movement of refusal of the civilization. Like in the song of Lou Reed, a hippie rock musician, McCandless want to « Take a walk on the wild side » . McCandless has so comportment like the hippie mentalities. Even if a real person inspired Sean Penn, it can be interpreted like the self-portrait of Sean Penn who is an activist and marginally artist. The film of Penn had known a real success at the start of the year of 2008.

Hair is a musical show who was created in 1967 and interpreted at the beginning of 1969. This comedy talks about a man, Claude, who leaves his ranch to join the army. In New-York he met a hippie community in the context of the Viet Nam war. Lyrics and songs are based on the theory of the New Age. It’s a product of the hippie counter-culture and sexual revolution of the 1960s, several of its songs became anthems of the anti-Vietnam War peace movement. Afterwards, in 1979, this rock musical was adapted at the movie theatre. Today this spectacle is still played. This year, it celebrates its 40 years.

 

-         ART

The hippies had a very particular clothes and appearance. Generally, their hairs were long and they wore loose fitting. They appearance was very important for them and today it generally still have this importance. The hippie clothes have become trendy, indeed we can see famous people, like Mary-Kate Olsen wearing clothes that people and website called smart hippies clothes. There also numerous magazine and website that talks about these smart hippies’ clothes.

-         DRUGS

LSD was discovering in 1943 in Switzerland and was forbidden in October 1966 in USA. Drugs had a very big importance in the hippie movement. The psychedelic aesthetics can be likened to the visions provoked by the LSD. It provokes as a matter of fact, a deformation of your vision and entrain you in a dreamy state where reality and dream are confused. It is possible to connect numerous artistic currents with the consumption of psychotropics, as well the music as the drawing and the fashion. Besides the LSD, the cannabis is also a drug which was massively consumed by hippies. For hippies, the purpose of this consumption of psychotropic is a will of opening of spirit and abolition of the mental borders. Hippie permitted to exchange easily some drugs and wanted to democratize its use. Hippies wanted to reach a certain lucidity to develop ideas and arts as music or painting, to dream with drugs. Today the consummation of LSD or cannabis still exists. Thanks to the hippie it’s enough easy to have drugs even if the users haven’t the same mentality on drugs.

 

APPENDIX

This is biographies of several hippies who lived the hippie movement. We show that to see the evolution of these people after the movement.

-         BOB DYLAN

Bob Dylan is an American musician, born in May 1941, in Minnesota. In 1959, he entered in the University of Minnesota. Three years later, he realised his first album. He sound envolved, rock, folk, country, blues make the diversity of his songs. He wasn't really a hippie, but him and the movement influenced themselves muttually. Indeed his songs are very engaged, in August 1963, he grapple with Joan Baez against the discrimination of black people, by demonstrating in the street with 200000 other pacifists. So, Bob Dylan was in same way of thinking as the hippies in the 60's.

One of these song is called “Blowing in the wind”, wrote in 1962, from the album “the Freewhelin' Bob Dylan”, and is particulary engaged:

How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
Yes, 'n' how many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, 'n' how many times must the cannon balls fly
Before they're forever banned?


The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind,
The answer is blowin' in the wind.

How many times must a man look up

Before he can see the sky?
Yes, 'n' how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, 'n' how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?

The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind,
The answer is blowin' in the wind.

How many years can a mountain exist
Before it's washed to the sea?
Yes, 'n' how many years can some people exist
Before they're allowed to be free?
Yes, 'n' how many times can a man turn his head,
Pretending he just doesn't see?

The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind,
The answer is blowin' in the wind.

So, Bob Dylan is with the hippies one of the precursor of the protester song. They were against the war and the social disparity. Today, he is still famous. His last album “Modern Times” has been published in August 2006 and knows a big success.

 

-         BEN COHEN AND JERRY GREENFIELD

Jerry Greenfield was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1951, four days before his partner Ben Cohen. Greenfield met Cohen when he was a teenager in junior high school in 1963. They had a common point: they like to eat. In 1978, after having had their certificate, they created the factory “Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream”. In 1981, it was sacred better ice of the world by The Times. Ben & Jerry’s is not a production like others. Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield consider themselves as hippies. They lived the hippie movement. Therefore, they have many hippie values for their production. Indeed, they respect the environment because they use a sustainable agriculture with natural ingredients. They promote fair trade and peace. They try to fight against warm climate. Cohen and Greenfield said: “In 1992, we signed on to the CERES Principles, affirming our belief that business has a responsibility to the environment and should uphold a set of inspirational principles. Whether it's in sourcing ingredients, supporting non-profit organizations, or using our ice cream to help better the environment, we think it's important to lead with our values.” Their values are a heritage from the hippie movement.

 

 

SOURCES

BIBLIOGRAPHIQUES

-         L’aventure hippie, Jean-Pierre Bouyxou and Pierre Delannoy,

-         Les clochards célestes, Jack Kerouac, 1953-56

-         Sur la route, Jack Kerouac, 1951-56

-         L’affichage en héritage, Michel Wlassikoff

-         L’esprit « cool », Dick and David Robins

-         150 ans de légende

-         1968-2008… N’effacez pas nos traces!, Dominique Grange and Tardi

-         L’abécédaire de New-York

 

 

MUSICALES

-         The Freewhelin’ Bob Dylan, Bob Dylan, 1962

-         Totem, Zazie, 2007

-         Journey Through The Secret Life Of Plants, Stevie Wonder, 1979

 

INTERNET

-         http://www.google.fr

-         http://www.google.com

-         http://wikipedia.org (English & French versions)

-         http://reverso.net

-         http://tr.voila.fr

-         http://www.mouvement.hippy.free.fr

-         http://www.bille.ch/hippie/

-         http://www.referate10.com/

-         http://www.hipplanet.com

-         http://www.hippiemuseum/org

-         http://hippiesylvain.free.fr/HTML/menu_nouveau.htm

-         http://146469.aceboard.fr

-         http://www.hippy.com/hippynames.htm

-         http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk

-         http://akpsy.com/37_les_hippies.htm

-         http://linternaute.com

-         http://www.alabourse.com

-         http://books.google.fr/books

-         http://wasm/us/stonewall/htm

-         http://www.gaypsychotherapy.com

-         http://www.unitycoalition.org/gayhistory-html

-         http://festival-woodstock.over-blog.net

-         http://www.lippsisters.com/tag/betty-friedan

-         http://books.google.fr

-         http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki.fred_singer

-         http://www.fiu.edu/~mizrachs/oldnew.html

-         http://www.hippy.com

-         http://wps.prenhall.com/wps/media/objects/751/769950/Documents_Library/airquality.htm

-         http://www.greenpeace.org

-         http://www.hippie.skyblog.com

-         http://www.notionmaster.com/encyclopedia/the-crokettes

-         http://lib.berkeley.edu/MRC/gayvid.html

-         http://tpe1l1.skyrock.com

-         http://johnshowman.info/about.html

-         http://dont-worry-be-hippy.skyrock.com

-         http://lire-ecouter-voir.blogspot.com

-         http://weblog.greenpeace.org

-         http://cozop.com/annam_agocavose/into_the_wild_sean_penn_rompt_le_contrat_social

-         http://courierinternational.com/article.asp?obj_id=80933

-         http://arte.tv/summer-of-love/interviews/1604686.html

-         http://www.holidayeveryday.wordpress.com/category/hippie/

-         http://hippie.wz.cz/pict.htm

-         http://membres.lycos.fr/triphippies/art.php?lien=1

-         http://disembedded.wordpress.com/2007/09/20/the-hippie-dayze-a-video-photo-gallery-from-the-1960s-counterculture/

-         http://users.rowan.edu/~lindman/hippieintro.html

-         http://www.landyvision.com/photos/Woodstock_69/index.htm

 

 

D) AN EXAMPLE: THE CYBER-REVOLUTION

Today, the Internet has a very important place in society, as it permits to quite free access to information. This is exactly a hippy idea, they thought access to computers should be free. Hippies were open minded about different cultures in the world and were interested for example in Buddhism. The Internet is the realization of this world interest and allows people to have free information about other cultures. Hippies were also interested in different music styles, since the 60s. Access to music is easier and today you can listen all the music you want on Internet. So Internet fulfilled hippie's dream of free information for all.

We owe it all to the hippies, forget antiwar protest, Woodstock, even long hair. The real legacy of the sixties generation in the computer revolution” said Stewart Brand in 1995. He is the creator of The Whole Earth Catalog, a counter culture book published between 1968 and 1972, which provides education and access to tools. Apple and Pixar Animation Studios founder and entrepreneur, Steve Jobs has described the catalog and the hippies as the conceptual forerunner of the World Wide Web. So we can see that hippies idea may have influenced the creation of Internet which is a part of a hippies heritage.

We can also notice that an Internet symbol came from the hippies. Indeed the ICQ flower is originally the symbol of “Flower Power” the famous slogan of the hippies. This logo refers to the community life of the hippies movement, this way of living permitted to communicate a lot. It's maybe for this reason that ICQ, which is an instant electronic bulletin board where people can speak each other, has the same symbol as “Flower Power”.

Besides, an Apple iMac computer is called “Flower Power” showing another time that the hippy movement has influenced the big domain of Internet and the cyber-revolution.

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