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The United States of 1960: History and Presence Term Paper

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Updated: Apr 21st, 2020


The 1960s was a decade of revolution among the various aspects in the American history that shaped the perception of such views in the present America. Majority of present happenings and information draw a correlation with the cultural, social and political revolution of the 1960s in the United States of America. Many historians argue that the sixties was a decade for the young in the United States of America (Farber, 1994).

This saw the involvement of many young Americans getting involved in activities that were directed towards making the US a batter place for all people. An example of a remarkable event that saw the involvement of young people in the US was the election of the youngest US president in history; John F. Kennedy and the civil rights movements that was pioneered by Martin Luther King (Farber, 1994).

Impact on Personal Experience

The events of our daily lives in the present date, to a greater extend, depends on the events that happened during the 1960s. This decade laid a framework for the present happenings and the way people perceive them.

Recently, I got caught up in a university student violent protest marches, which they claimed was directed towards the stringent rules and measures that the university had established in order to help increase the behavioral ethics at the university. The protests were characterized by violence and mass destruction of property that left many who were caught unawares, I being included subjected to serious injuries.

The students said that the university could not consider their pleas if they had not taken it to the streets, they further asserted that the Free Speech and academic freedom of the 1964 permitted them to hold street protests. The freedom speech movement laid a ground work for student activism in the US and continues to be witnesses even today. If the Freedom Speech Movement (FSM) had never been implemented in 1964, there would be no student activism in the present times (Morgan, 1992).

Another experience that would have turned differently were it not for the inventions of the 1960s was my experience when receiving medication. Laser technology was perfected during 1961 and its application extended to medicine (Ward, 2009). The medicine practice has been the same since it was first introduced however the perfection of the laser technology made it easier. My surgical operation was a fun experience through the use of laser surgery compared the way it would have been if it the diagnosis was done manually.

Impact of the 1960 Events on My Career Path and Discipline

My major discipline is social sciences. Social sciences basically deal with analysis of individual behaviors towards individuals. The primary objective of social science / social work is to ensure that there is deviant behavior that will affect other individual in a way that is perceived not to be correct or may harm another person (Brigid & Dye, 2007). The events of the 1960s in the United States have had a transformation in the field of social sciences today.

Theories in Social Sciences

Social sciences use a number of theories in day to day evaluation of social work activities. Theories in the field of social work attempt to relate between observable occurrences and notable facts and then draw a correlation with the past events in order to determine a future trend or course of action.

Some of the theories used in social work include the concept of racial and gender inequality, the concept of power and ideology; which entails concepts such as liberalism, fascism, socialism and communism. All these concepts were affected during the sixties in the United States (Brigid & Dye, 2007).

The concept of racial equality attempts to establish a balance between the different racial orientations in a given society. Racial prejudice is a common phenomenon in any society and therefore social sciences attempt to integrate all the different racial divisions into a one unified race.

On the other hand, gender equality attempts to integrate the gender roles in a given society and therefore reducing the gap between the roles that are traditionally assigned to either males or female in a particular context. The field of social sciences, commonly characterized by social work attempts to evaluate the level of racial and gender inequality in given society, and then establish relevant strategies to approach the situation (Brigid & Dye, 2007).

The concept of power and ideologies on the other hand analyses the various schools of thought that define individual to individual relationship and individual to state relationship. Various theories under this division include socialism, communism, Marxism, liberalism and capitalism. These ideologies are used to characterize the relationship between the individuals and those in power, which in most cases represent the state and its authorities.

Those that have power have the capacity to influence a large group of people. One most important characteristic of power is that it is never equally distributed, at any given level. Whenever the power is equal, then there is no power or supremacy over authority (Brigid & Dye, 2007).

Correlation Between Social Science Theories and the 1960s

In the context of racial and gender equality, the 1960s provided a framework towards the need to have those key issues that involves racial prejudice and gender inequalities solved. A key pioneer in fighting of racial inequality during the sixties was the civil rights activist, Martin Luther king. He was influential in ensuring that people were not judged basing on the color of their skin but their personality. Martin Luther is famous for demanding equal rights between the Black Americans and the White Americans.

The shift in the gender roles of the sixties can be attributed to the social revolutions of the sixties that saw a different American culture being born, on characterized with pop culture, different fashions among many others (Stuart, 2001). This shift in lifestyles was accompanied by the shift in gender roles which saw a reduction in gap between the male and female roles in the society.

In terms of the concept of power, the united state of the sixties was a liberal state with the gap between the state agencies and the US citizens being reduced. It is during this decade that one of the most successful US presidents was elected, John F. Kennedy, although he was assassinated later. Various civil and human rights movements were established in order to monitor the government operations (Brigid & Dye, 2007).

Social science/ work as a disciplined have undergone various transformations since the sixties. While administering social service, concepts such as gender equality and racial equality are always referred basing on the social revolution of the sixties. Presently, there are few incidences of racial and gender prejudice in the United States; this can be mostly attributed to the efforts of Martin Luther during the sixties (Brigid & Dye, 2007).

International Relations and the Events of the 1960s

International relations basically refer to the relationship that exists between different countries based on a mutual concept such that each country benefits from the relationship. International relations is subject to the concept of globalization (Milward, 2003); which is commonly to refer to the world as global village. The events of the 1960s laid a framework towards the realization of globalization.

The Events of the 1960s and the Concept of “Global Village”

The concept of global village is used to describe how the world has been virtually reduced into the size of a village, through the availability and increased use of electric media; which facilitates faster movement of information from place to place. The development of the global village is most cases is associated with the development of internet and the world wide web (Brigid & Dye, 2007).

One of the major inventions of the sixties that facilitated the global village concept was the invention of the internet in 1962 by the US military. Further developments to the internet on the forthcoming years resulted to the development of the World Wide Web, which is a major communication platform in the present date. Increased and instantaneous communication helped to build on the concept of globalization which resulted to the world being virtually reduced to the size of a village, hence global village.

Another aspect of the 1960s that resulted to the global village is the increased used and the availability of mass media. The 1960s saw the rise of television and radio broadcasting that used to target large audience. The television broadcasting took a different approach; the use of satellite television that could broadcast on a global level hence facilitating fast exchange of information which soon resulted to a global village (Milward, 2003).

Positive Aspects of Globalization

Globalization is based on the concept of universalism, implying a uniform world which involves the integration of cultural, political, economic and social factors (Morgan, 1992). The positive aspects of globalization are outlined below.

Globalization is responsible for the increased investment and capital flows, this causes the flow of foreign capital and foreign investments. This is vital for the economic development of a country through increased free trade between the various countries. It can therefore be argued that globalization is the pioneer of international trade and this provides an opportunity for developing countries to enhance their economy (Morgan, 1992).

Another positive aspect of globalization is that it fosters global peace. This is achieved through the integration f political and cultural factors at a global level. Such integration implies that there will be better diplomatic relations among different countries therefore resulting to global peace (Milward, 2003).

Negative Aspects of Globalization

Despite the good that is accompanied with globalization, there are also negative aspects that are associated with it. One of the negative aspects of globalization is that globalization is a threat to the cultural heritage that a nation or a state upholds. The integration of culture among the different nations poses a threat to the cultural values of preservative countries (Milward, 2003). This is why majority of Muslim countries are against the idea of globalization.

Universal political structure means that there is a threat of the global system being controlled by a few super powers. This inhibits the global political equality among the weak nations such as developing countries. The weak nations can not therefore maintain their position of power at the global level (Milward, 2003).


Brigid, H. C., & Dye, T. R. (2007). Power and Society: An Introduction to the Social Sciences. Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.

Farber, D. (1994). The Age of Great Dreams: America in the 1960s. New York: Hill & Wang.

Milward, B. (2003). Globalisation?: internationalisation and monopoly capitalism : historical processes and capitalist dynamism. Northhampton, MA : Edward Elgar Publishing.

Morgan, E. P. (1992). The Sixties Experience: Hard Lessons About Modern America. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

Stuart, K. (2001). Life in America During the 1960s. San Diego, CA: Lucent Books.

Ward, B. (2009). The 1960s: A Documentary Reader. New York: John Wiley and Sons.

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