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Teenagers Of The Sixties And Today

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369 words
Social Issues

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My father told me about growing up in the sixties. It was a time of unrest. Students were rioting on college campuses, African Americans were rioting in the streets and an unpopular war was going on in Southeast Asia. There was the Free Speech Movement, the Civil Rights Movement, and the sexual revolution. Marijuana and LSD, illegal drugs virtually unheard of a decade before, were becoming commonplace among teenagers. The country was in turmoil and on the brink of revolution. College students were rebelling as evidenced by growing their hair long and wearing tie-dyed shirts. Have teenagers changed in the last thirty years? There are no more campus protests. Tie-dyed shirts seem to be a thing of the past. Between the sixties and today, times, events and circumstances have changed but teenagers' core beliefs and values have remained the same.
First of all, the college students of today seem to be less rebellious than they were in the sixties. Their dress and their attitudes seem to be more in line with the norm. Most teenagers seem to be more concerned with where the next party will be than with what social issues are confronting society today. David Gelman refereed to this generation in his article as the "me" generation. He quotes University of Michigan social psychologist Lloyd Johnston as saying "It's fair to say that young people are more career-oriented than before, more concerned about making money and prestige." (Gelman 195). This is because life itself changes. There are no more unjustified wars, totalitarianism practiced by college administrators or obvious racial inequities in our society.
Secondly, children grew up in the sixties believing in motherhood and apple pie. America was at peace and the economy was prosperous. Fathers had good jobs, went to work everyday and mothers stayed home with the kids. Families taught moral values and schools taught education. Students were taught the United States Constitution and the principles upon which this country was founded. Students believed what they were taught. They believed that the First Amendment of the Constitution guaranteed them freedom of speech in public places; however, the students of the University of California at Berkeley in 1964, found out different. "...Mario Savio, a young philosophy ...

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