The Twentieth Century was a time of great social, political, economic and cultural change and conflict. The impact of these events on people can be seen in popular culture. It not only reflected the thoughts and feelings of many but helped shape how they responded to these changes and conflicts. During each decade popular culture played a significant part in motivating large numbers of people to act for and achieve change. Popular culture in the sass's, e. . Sex, Drugs, Rock and Roll, helps historians understand how changes reflected and influenced the thoughts of that time. Youths began to think that taking drugs and having sex was a natural and trendy thing to carry out. The decade saw major changes like the rise of the youth culture and the protest against Vietnam War which influenced the popularity of the use of drugs such as LSI and the Contraceptive Birth Control Pill for a happier lifestyle.
Popular culture expressed through media and fashion such as tie dye patterns spread ideas that young people should rebel, take drugs and do whatever they want. The term 'popular culture' meaner 'cultural activities or commercial products reflecting, suited o, or aimed at the tastes of the general masses of people' (Dictionary. Com, 2003). Popular culture constantly changes. One example would be protest against the gays. In the past a major rejection, but over the years it has gained acceptance.
They are protected and have special laws and privileges. This wouldn't happen 60 years ago. Therefore pop culture is important for historians as it helps them understand important events in history because it reveals how people once thought and felt and helped shape how they responded to events of change and conflict. During the sass's significant examples of popular culture caused major changes in society such as the wide spread use of drugs within youth groups, mostly hallucinogenic like LSI and Marijuana.
During the sass's Australians and Americans experienced events which changed how their society was organized. The community wanted peace and began to protest against war and rebelled against what was expected. Part and parcel with anti-war marches, petitions, picket signs, were the small round colorful political buttons like "Make Love, Not War", "Get out of Vietnam", "End the War. ", "Yankee, Come Home" and many others Games Assayer, 2008). This was the generation of the baby boomers becoming teenagers and when the 'hippies' came about.
This movement was for promoting the idea of peace, love, unity and freedom and for growing your consciousness to a whole new level, where mere materialistic concepts of life do not affect the way you perceive the world anymore (Physically Junction, 2010). The University of Minnesota state 'Their solution was to explore psychedelics. The most common drug was LSI, a chemical discovered in 1943 by Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann. LSI let people look at things with the different angle their psychedelic trance allowed them' (Abaci, T, 2012). Alt was popular to use those drugs within the youth society.
Medicals advances appeared such as the birth control pill known as 'The Pill' which became very popular to women during the rise of feminism. It had a significant impact in changing how society was organized as youths bell having sex was enjoyable now a contraceptive had been introduced and the behavior of young women became more sexually involved. Popular culture such as drugs, sex, rock and roll in the sass's reflected how youths were thinking and feeling or example the introduction of LSI was thought to have clinical applications but was then used recreational for themselves and with their social groups as the 'cool' thing to do.
LSI was especially effective in treatment for alcoholism - curing around 50% as opposed to the 5% that Alcoholics Anonymous wean off the booze (Road Junky, 2006). Little did scientist know the side effects and health hazards LSI contained. The emergence of rock and roll began which influenced these acts upon listeners. The song written by Stepparents 'Born to be wild' is an example, the lyrics Like a true nature's child, we were born, born to be wild' manipulates audiences that they should be wild and reckless.
The artist has power over the listeners and influences the use of drugs in the lyrics We can climb so high, I never want to die' implying the feeling of being 'high' is incredible. Movies began to break social taboos such as sex and violence causing both controversy and fascination became more sexually explicit. People thought that if this behavior is used in films and famous celebrities are doing it then they should also. A form of culture that was particularly important at this time was the fashion. In the middle of the decade, culottes, box- shaped PVC dresses and go-go boots were popular.
The widely popular bikini came into fashion in 1963 after being featured in the musical 'Beach Party. Bands such as the 'Beetles' inspired youngsters to dress as they did, for example the business suit changed because of the Beetles. Instead of being so conservative the business suit became a suit that was tailored to fit. Later they brought colorful turtlenecks to the fashion scene also. The Tie-dye first became popular in the later sass's during the pie movement. What most people do not know is that tie dye tees were a representative of protest against the Vietnam War' (Ties 'n' cuffs, 2011).
These are clear examples of how popular culture of the go's reflected youth's thoughts and feelings. Popular culture, such as media became important spreading explanations for why society had changed, allowing many new ways to influence others. 'The Pill' was considered to be a great salvation of mankind for several reasons. There was the beginning of the belief that the human race was heading for a disaster as far as a population problem was concerned. In fact there were posters of globes with human beings falling off the globe, it was so crowded (Image 1).
The second thing was feminism. There was a rapid growth of interest in feminism and women certainly had to have contraceptives as they couldn't get in the work place and find their fulfillment unless they were having fewer babies, and the only way they could have fewer unwanted pregnancies is with a better contraceptive. (Smith. J, 2012) Millions turned to the pill for these important motives. The antiwar movement of the go's influenced he war by proving to be a force that is large enough so as to be impossible to ignore on the national level.
The movement affected even those at the highest ranks of the government and the media, putting pressure on government officials to end the war in order satisfy an angry American public (Oracle Think Quest, 1999). In this way, the antiwar movement was an extremely important event in our history, and evidence of the power of people united. It has been shown that popular culture is important in spreading the ideas behind these changes. The media has maintained an important influence on American and Australian individuals along with other societies to this day.
Drug usage is still ongoing and teenagers try drugs for many reasons including relaxation, socializing, curiosity or peer pressure. According to the National Drug Strategy Household Survey of Australians aged 14-19 years, in 2010; 67% had tried alcohol and Just over one in five (21 . 1%) were drinking alcohol on a weekly basis, one in five (21. 5%) had tried cannabis, Just under 12% had tried tobacco and Just under 7% smoked on a daily basis, over 2% had tried amphetamines for non-medical reasons, 4. 7% had tried ecstasy and 2. % had tried cocaine (Better Health Channel, 2012).
It is relevant that drug use in teens is ongoing from the go's. There are nearly two dozen brands of pills that can be used for emergency contraception at the local pharmacy today. The 2002 results of the third National Survey of Australian Secondary Students, carried out by the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society discovered 36. 8% of sexually active teenagers are currently on the contraceptive pill (Better Health Channel, 2012). This is evidence that the contraceptive pill has been a long lasting practice in teenagers.