How did the Hippies influence the culture of the 1960s?

Expert Answers
bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ah, the wonderful 'Sixties! First, understand that the hippies were in no way an organized group or movement. No one joined and there were no set guidelines to becoming a hippie. It was, in fact, a yourthful subculture that began in the United States and quickly became an international phenomena. The two most renowned early hotspots for the movement were in Greenwich Village (New York City) and the Haight-Ashbury district (San Francisco). The word "hippie" derived from the word "hipster," which evolved as a later synonym for "beatnik"--the youth who followed the ways and customs of the Beat Generation. Hippies generally wore their hair long, dressed colorfully and unconventionally, listened to the most modern rock music (especially psychedelic and hard rock), used drugs freely and often, and embraced sexual freedom. The transition to the hippie subculture was a conscious decision in response to the restrictions of parents or conservative upbringing. Youthful opposition to the Vietnam War was another motivation. Events such as the Be-In in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park in early 1967 and the year's later Summer of Love, and the 1969 Woodstock Festival in New York came to define the movement. The advent of the hippie effected the world's culture significantly, particularly with the burgeoning rock music scene, but the hippie culture became visible on TV, movies, health foods, fashion, art and literature.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Hippies influenced the culture of the 1960s by pushing it towards less traditional ways.  By challenging the traditional values that had been passed down, the Hippies changed the culture of the US.

The Hippies helped to make America's culture more open.  They helped, for example, move our culture towards more of an acceptance of different lifestyles.  As one example of this, the Hippies helped to destroy the patriarchal culture that had typified America.  Along with this, the Hippies helped to spread the "sexual revolution."  By doing these things, they increased women's opportunities to be equal to men socially and economically.

These changes typify the major impact the Hippies had on US culture.  Their impact was to make the US a more open and less traditional society.