the Youth Movements of the 1960s
The 1960s are a decade that have become known as a time of “peace and music”; a time when large parts of the youth population came together to try and change the things that they did not find right in the world. However, it was a decade spattered in blood which had its share of horrific, brutal events. The 1960s were marked by extreme changes in social norms and culture that shocked the elders of society,and served as a time for educational reform as well as social reform, and since that decade, the world’s school systems, cultural norms, and political positions have been permanently altered. Although the youth of China and Western Europe did not fight for the same causes, both proved that young people of any society need not wait for change, but enforce it on their own. The radical youth movements of the 1960s have had a profound effect on modernday society and vestiges of those movements are still evident today.
The idea of student rebellion is historically nothing new. In 1918 in Argentina, students fought for the same rights that students fought for in the industrialized west in the 1960s (Jobs 4). The astonishing thing about the student movements in the 1960s was the universality of the demand for justice for the youth. A student at the time, Michael Frisch, describes this period in history as a time when “young people were claiming the rights of citizenship, not acting in age specific ways.” He talks about his time as a student activist, and the message that he and his peers tried to convey to the older generation, “What we were saying was, ‘My politics are not defined by the fact that I am 18, but by the fact that I have a view of the world and I have every right and responsibility to act on that,’” (Fraser 3). In the 1960s, the incredulous population spike of the baby boom nearly doubled the number of students in areas that were already densely populated, such as France and Germany. In one French university,...
Cited: Aguilar, Maya. "Student Movements in the 1960s." Mtholyoke.edu. N.p., 27 Apr. 2003. Web.
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