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Carnival of youth: the dramaturgy of the sixties counterculture

Watermeyer, Richard P. 2008. Carnival of youth: the dramaturgy of the sixties counterculture. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.

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This thesis is a study of anti-hegemonic, youth counterculture. It uses a retro-sampling of four aspects of the 1960s hippie counterculture, namely the Beats, Hippies, the Diggers and the Yippies. These are used as a case-study of a culture of resistance that are reapplied as signifiers of cultural and commercial distinction, fashioning a notion and ideal of youth. The thesis uses the theory of Bakhtinian carnivalesque to interpret the performance of dissident youth culture. It examines one fragment of subversive counterculture best described as performative. The performance of counterculture, its street happenings, Acid-Tests, Be-Ins, rock concerts and media pranks, are shown to be assimilated and transformed into commercial entities which are used to frame what it is loosely defined as a 'post-modern' cultural subjectivity. This study provides a reminder of the paradoxes of cultural endeavour, such as the local and global, commercial and cultural, and how anti-hegemonic counterculture is an explicit portrayal of this. The performance of the hippie counterculture is shown as a process of constant reinvention and bricolage enriching and challenging social perceptions and ways of living. The carnival of the American counterculture is a case-study of cultural antagonisms, which demonstrates how performance is infinitely adaptable and replicable for different user groups. Its music, which forms a central part of the thesis, is its legacy, a cultural landmark and recurrent means of expression channelling the voice of carnival, youth and the potential of an inverted world.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
ISBN: 9781303185601
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2016 23:33

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