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Counterculture

  • By: Ferne Edwards
  • In: Green Politics: An A-to-Z Guide
  • Edited by: Dustin Mulvaney & Paul Robbins
  • Subject:Environmental Sociology, Environmental Technology, Policy & Management, Environmental Policy & Law (general)

A counterculture represents a cultural group whose lifestyle is opposed to the prevailing culture. Countercultures construct an alternative culture that contests mainstream societal beliefs and values while desiring to influence social change. According to Ken Goffman, aka R. U. Sirius, a U.S. writer, countercultures share the characteristics of the following principles and values: they assign primacy to individuality at the expense of social conventions and governmental constraints, they challenge authoritarianism, and they embrace individual and social change. Countercultures are a form of subculture, with their own shared conventions, values, and rituals, yet they are also systematically opposed to the dominant culture. The term counterculture was introduced into public circulation in 1969 by Theodore Roszak in the book The Making of a Counter Culture, which discussed ...

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