History-Britain in the 60s-Section 3

Changes in culture and society in the 1960s.

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Youth culture:

The "decade of youth" is epitomised by Jean Shrimpton who appeared on Derby Day in a dress ending high above her kness, no stockings, no gloves and no hat.

The emergence of youth culture:

  • Young people born in the post-war baby boom were too young to remember the depression, leaving a large group of liberal, young people
  • The change in leaving age at school, rising to 16, meant that there was a longer transition from childhood to adulthood and young people encompassed responsibilities at a later age
  • The youth were experiencing a new found disposable income due to higher wages and reducing expectation of handing money over to parents
  • This income was targeted by the expanding mass media which advertised items such as clothes, make-up and cds specifically to appeal to a younger demographic
  • With the intorduction of new television shows, specifically for the youth, and the increase in radio ownership meant that the young population had more freedom than ever
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Youth culture:

The new youth culture:

  • The distinct differences between the youth of the 60s and their parents was distinguished with the style and ways of behaviour of the young people.
  • The new youth culture was spread through the media with magazines such as Honey (1960) and Jackie (1964).
  • The increase in leisure activites, rise in living standards and spread of education all coincided with the emergence of youth culture and allowed it to flourish
  • Youth culture was about having shared generational values and rebelling against things that appear wrong
  • Religious teachings and "unwritten rules" such as, not having sex before marriage, were beginning to be challenged. The media and consumer industry tried to appeal to the young market by putting an emphasis on sex
  • Many of the older generation believed this to be the decline in morality however, the extent to which youth typically fitted the stereotype was minimal
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Youth culture:

New trends in fashion and popular music:


  • By 1967, 50% of women's clothes sold were to those from the 15-19 age range
  • Clothes were inspired by the newly expanding celebrity culture
  • Challenging traditional clothing for women and men was expressed through women's trousers and men's brightly coloured outfits

End of the 1950s/early 1960s:

  • A style mixed between the mod look and the rocker.
  • Primarily masculine fashions
  • Mod girls aimed for a neat "italian" look
  • Rocker girls wore leathers to emulate their boyfriends
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Youth culture:

Mid 1960s:

  • The mini skirt appeared and rose from knee-length to mid thigh
  • T-bar shoes or mid-calf boots were accompanies, sometimes in white patent
  • Geometric haircuts with asymetric fringes followed
  • For boys, the rocker style continued
  • The beatles also introduced a new scruffy style
  • The old mod suits became more fitted

Late 1960s:

  • For the boys it was "anything goes" with psychedelic colours (adopted from the use of hallucinogenic drugs"
  • For girls, a variety of skirt lengths, from mini to midi to maxi
  • A style adopted from the culture of India included cottons and ponchos
  • The frizzed hair look became desirable with the "Black is beautiful" movement
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Youth culture:

Popular music:

  • Cheap, portable radios gave young people the means to keep up with the latest releases
  • Music could be accessed through one of the offshore radio stations or from 1967's Radio 1
  • Television responded to this demand with programmes such as Ready Steady Go and Tops of the Pops
  • Music was something that was accessible for all from cheap records and record shops to live concerts and festivals
  • Music had been changing from the mid-50s with Elvis Presley's tight trousers and gyrating pelvis which made the link between music, fashion and sex
  • The advance in technology made music more affordable for all classes
  • Andrew Marr: "anger, enthusiasm, boredom and wit relfected the actual Britain all around them"
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Youth culture:

The Beatles:

  • John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr
  • More than 40 different singles, albums and EP's reached number 1
  • By 1985 they had sold over 1 billion tapes and discd worldwide
  • Some songs, such as Penny Lane, had an explicit link to LSD
  • Similarly their music evoked ideas of changing the world around them such as Sergeant Pepper
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Anushka Dave


Thank you so much! :) Good luck in your exams

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