From ArticleWorld

The term counterculture is traditionally used to describe American and Western European youths of the 1960s and early 1970s who shunned mainstream culture.


The counterculture grew out of rebellion of the conservative social and political 1950s. The Vietnam War was also a source of uprising.

Young people from college campuses found their values in conflict with their often privileged upbringings and youths from all walks of life contributed to the counterculture movement.

Timothy Leary, a Harvard professor, coined the phrase “tune in, turn on, and drop out” and is often considered the father of the counterculture.

Students of the movement embraced avant-garde religions and social organizations. The counterculture ignited a new world of “isms,” including communism, socialism, liberalism, libertarianism, anarchism, hedonism, environmentalism, and feminism. Counterculture embraced bucking “the establishment” and often encouraged experimental drug use and promiscuous sex.

The movement was so strong that mainstream artists followed suit. The music of The Beatles and The Grateful Dead reflected the counterculture climate of the day. Underground newspapers opposing the Vietnam War and promoting the hippie lifestyle were published all across the country.

While the counterculture is often associated with drugs, sex, and generally negativity toward the government, many counterculture followers were also organized. Followers created non-governmental organization that worked toward a common good, such as improving the environment or peaceful solutions. The International Committee of the Red Cross still operates today.

Businessmen were also born out of the counterculture, such as Apple Computers founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.

Some believe that mainstream culture ultimately absorbed the counterculture, adopting their music, their fashion, and their morality.