Title

Presidential Address: Countercultures and Social Change

Abstract

This article focuses on an address on the countercultures and social change. Some individuals and groups feel particularly strongly that the social order is unable to bring them the accustomed or the hoped for satisfactions. Depending on their social location and on their personal tendencies, they attack, strongly or weakly, violently or symbolically, the frustrating social order that is, the normative-power-reciprocity system. The nature of the attack varies widely, with some believing that they have been caught in very bad bargains, others that they are being exploited by unjust and unwise leaders or rulers, and still others emphasizing that they are surrounded by a shoddy system of norms and values. Three elements are found in most protest movements, even though they can be distinguished analytically. Any analysis of countercultures faces this problem. Some use it as a word of opprobrium, an indication, of incivility, depravity, heresy, or sedition. For others, counterculture means hope and salvation, a unique and perhaps final opportunity to get, humankind off the road to destruction.

Publisher

American Sociological Association

Publication Date

12-1-1977

Publication Title

American Sociological Review

Department

Sociology

Document Type

Article

DOI

10.2307/2094571

Keywords

Social change, Counterculture, Subcultures, Social order, Social structure, Social norms

Language

English

Format

text

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