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By Mike Carlton; Richard Walker; Mark Hamlyn; Gail Jarvis; Jacomiene Betlem; All authors

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It was the advent of rock and roll, however, that generated the greatest hysteria about teenage culture in the mid-1950s. To a large degree, this was the predictable reaction of a white community already deeply suspicious of the integration of African-American culture into the ‘mainstream’. After the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education ruling outlawing separate schooling for whites and blacks, many affluent whites sent their children to private schools and/or relocated to suburbia. Integration was gradually becoming legally enshrined, but this did not generally result in dramatic demographic transformation.

Unsurprisingly, the major protests against rock and roll only developed after it was adopted as teenage music in the mid1950s. This disparity between Beat anti-materialism and teenage consumption would contribute to tensions and contradictions within the ideology of the counterculture in the following decade. The divided nature of the antecedents to ’60s counterculture has determined the shape of the first half of this volume. The book is not intended to be a survey and I focus on particular case studies in each chapter, rather than rushing through a catalogue of texts and artists.

58; George Lipsitz, Time Passages (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1990), p. 123. 36 CHAPTER ONE Fiction The Beat Generation, that was a vision that we had, John Clellon Holmes and I, and Allen Ginsberg in an even wilder way, in the late Forties, of a generation of crazy, illuminated hipsters suddenly rising and roaming America, serious, curious, bumming and hitchhiking everywhere, ragged, beatific, beautiful in an ugly graceful new way – a vision gleaned from the way we had heard the word ‘beat’ spoken on streetcorners in Times Square and in the Village, in other cities in the downtown city night of postwar America – beat, meaning down and out but full of intense conviction .

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A matter of taste by Mike Carlton; Richard Walker; Mark Hamlyn; Gail Jarvis; Jacomiene Betlem; All authors


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