Hippies : a study in the sociology of knowledge
This thesis is an attempt to explain the historical origins and the cultural location of the hippie counterculture in Britain in the late 1960s. Part One contains two intentions. It depicts and assesses existing theoretical attempts to account for the counter-culture; but it also works through dominant contemporary modes of cultural theory and the sociology of youth culture, in particular the work of the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies. The overall aim of this section is to present a revision; a fresh cultural studies 'theoretical overview' to historically relocate the emergence of forms of bohemian counter-culture. Part Two considers and charts such forms of bohemian ideology. The initial premise is that the hippie countercultural form was a modernised instance of bohemianism: an attempt to formulate the ground rules of anesthetic revolution and present a cultural critique according to the 'problems' and 'solutions' of artistic practice. It reveals the historical development of the institutions of artistic practice which have kept the Romantic, bohemian ideology of cultural criticism alive and pertinent. More specifically I concentrate on the development of art education. I conclude that existing accounts of the hippie counterculture which attempt to locate its emergence in either the language of youth-cultural expression or the 'spirit of the age' are superficial and misleading. The counter-culture, like other forms of cultural ideology, must be related to its institutional setting: hence I stress the significance of art education, as a 'carrier' of conflicting cultural and artistic ideologies, through to the 1960s. The thesis is primarily focussed on hippie ideology; therefore my methodology essentially presents problems of historical research - into the dominant influences on the formation of a modernised aesthetic counter-cultural form, and the attempts offered by the hippies themselves, specifically in the written media and music, to redefine the rules of cultural discourse.