Pro/Con: Was society better in the 1960s when peace and love was promoted?

Society has changed significantly in the last 50 years. Technology, music, and education are just a few of the changes. Was life better then?

Pro:

By: Michael Winn
The 1960s were a time of revolution in American life and culture. It affected education, values, lifestyles, laws, and entertainment. With over 70,000,000 baby boomers becoming teens in the ‘60s, the youth dominated this revolution.

Time then was better than today in that thought back then included peace, love, and happiness and ‘non-violence’ movements. Culture was evolving too, and the 1960s produced some of the greatest artists and writers such as Andy Warhol and his pop art from ‘62 to ‘67, to Harper Lee and her famous novel To Kill A Mockingbird (1960). Music was the definition of the 1960s with icons like “The Beatles” and “The Beach Boys”, which innovated rock music, and promoted peace and love.

The most famous moment in music for the 1960s would be ‘Woodstock’, in which 400,000 young people rocked out in support of love and sharing. Another huge movement going on was the Civil Rights movement led by Martin Luther King Jr., which encouraged changes throughout the ‘60s in support of African American equality.

The youth of the decade swayed the fashions and trends. Fashion had it’s own tastes then too, with men’s longer hair, beards, and mustaches, to women’s ‘big’ hair-do’s and African American’s afro look. Clothing brought forth a new look with bright colored clothing, jackets, polyester pant-suits, and turtlenecks contributing to the scene. At least fashions then encouraged teens to dress well, while sagging jeans and ‘hoodie’ styles would be shunned in ‘60s society.

Perhaps the best representation of this decade is influenced by the space race, which sent the first American to space in 1961, orbit the Earth in 63’, and walk on the moon with Neil Armstrong in Apollo XI in 1969. The 1960s population was definitely united by this space program in a way that no one today could possibly recreate today. I think that the ‘60s were definitely safer, and better than the world today in 2010. Kids could walk to school alone without being kidnapped like today, and could unite and voice their opinion in a non-violent way together, full of peace, love, and happiness.

Con:

By Tasia Falcon
Society in 2010 consists of all different religions, ethnicity, customs and traditions mixed together. Still they accept each other for the most part, better than in the 1960s.
In modern society, people can make decisions for themselves and do the things they want to do within reason. However in the society of the 1960s, many people were oppressed and therefore could not live life how they wanted.

In the 1960s, African Americans were fighting for equality. People like Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks were fighting for African American civil rights. Now we have our first ever African American president, Barack Obama.

Laws today are better at protecting people of this generation than in the last 50 past years. Women have more rights now, than they did in the 1960s. In the early 1960s women were discriminated against in the workplace until the Civil Rights Movement barred it. Women were excluded from educational programs, school activities and everything else that was federally funded.
Now, women are treated just like men in the workforce. They are equally paid, have equal job positions and cannot be discriminated against. It’s no longer a “man’s world.”

Society has improved significantly since the 1960s with new, more advanced technologies, such as cell phones and computers with internet. There are now even cell phones with internet available on them. People can keep in touch and meet new people easier and faster than 50 years ago. Now we have technology where we can do almost anything with the touch of a few buttons.

In the 1960s there was not as much technology. Life was way harder and to say society was better when people did not have half of the things they have in today’s society, would be crazy. Back then, it was work, work, work!

In today’s society, people get tattoos, piercings, and write books or songs without being judged or told not to do it. Back then, people could have done these things, but with more judgment.
There have been a lot of positive changes between the 1960s and now.

12 Comments

  1. Diana O.

    December 3, 2010 at 8:47 am

    This article is very well written exposing both sides of each society. If I were to decide which was better I would choose 2010. Michael Winn did an extraordinary job trying to show off the factors of 1960s that shows off love and peace. The reason I side with 2010 being better is because now the US is diverse.

  2. Raya Girard

    December 8, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    I love this article. Could you please do one on each decade? I remember studying the different decades on American History in 6th and 7th grade at my old school. I was fasinated by how much things have changed. I love to see the pros and cons.

  3. Haseena Abdur-Rahman

    December 11, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    The representation of life in the 60s is a common misconception. All that’s viewed is usually people having fun and spreading peace and love. However, there were dangerous times in the 60s. As I recall, the 1960s was filled with assassinations, the growing involvement in Vietnam that resulted in war, and the strife that accompanied the Civil Rights movement along with anti-war marches and rioting. People gained drug addictions and committed suicide during this period and African-Americans were getting killed in the streets of Harlem. Now that America has grown and people have more rights along with the development of technology, I think that life is better now.

  4. Alex Martinez

    December 17, 2010 at 10:00 am

    I think that there is really no argument here about which era was better. In modern times, Civil Rights are so much better, and this growth in technology and information is like another Englightenment. All of the things about the “peace and love” of the 60′s are just false, because back then, being gay or a black Civil Rights activist might have lead to you ending up dead or beat up and tossed in a dumpster somewhere.

  5. Unique Larry

    January 2, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    I believe that even though our modern society deals with several difficulties that it is indeed the better era because we have become diverse are all working on acceptance and equality for all. However in the 1960′s there were the obvious issues including racism and the rights for women.

  6. Rachel Arnold

    January 14, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    I found this extremely interesting. I’m at a cross-roads for which side I’m on. I can see the Pro point of view because of the overall “peace and love” tone of the era, but I also agree with the Con because there are so many freedoms and of course technology that just wasn’t available in the ’60s. Both sides put up a great argument for this topic.

  7. Evan May

    January 14, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    This was a really well written article While I don’t really know which side I support, I feel that Tasia is right by saying that in our modern age that technology has been instrumental for communication in a more culturally diverse world. The modern age is more accepting and tolerant than the newly desegragated 60′s.

  8. Tessa Allen

    January 14, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    I often feel that these articles tend to end up being one sided but I think this one definitely represented both sides of the argument adequately. I am glad to have been born in this era but I think comparing the two is like comparing apples to oranges, neither is necessarily better and both have their unique pros and cons.

  9. Malikah Williams

    January 17, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    I agree with Tessa. Both of these articles are very well written and both present the information adequately. In my opinion, I would have to say that this era is better due to how accepting people are now.

  10. Josh Kent

    March 3, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    Both articles bring up a really good point. However, I feel that this era is way better for one simple reason and thats racism. It was much more predominant in the 60′s even with all the free love and peace. Now a days racism isn’t as big of an issue for people.

  11. Sarah

    May 22, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    More technology is nice; we can keep in touch with people all over the world, work and shop from home, etc. On the other hand, more technology doesn’t necessarily mean better. We still have greatly divided incomes with those who make more get treated like royalty. People still have to work just as much maybe more because prices have greatly increased.

  12. Allen

    August 26, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    I’m not trying to be malicious *PLEASE KEEP THAT IN MIND*, but when reading the cons list I couldn’t help think of how naive some of it sounded. I totally agree that the 60s where a great time in america (in certain aspects). I agree that there were tremendous strides in passing legislation to protects blacks’ rights. But your kinda leaving out how much freedom they took from all of us in 2001. Hell they even brag about it on CNN; not to mention the NDAA of 2012.

    Sorry to bring the mood down *not sarcasm*

    Oh yeah, you also left out JFK and RFK helping to get blacks’ rights. And at Woodstock, there was supposed to be 400,000 people, but there ended up being over a million people. Just a correction…

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