(noun) “A culture with lifestyles and values opposed to those of the established culture” (Princeton 2010).

Example: The Flower Power movement  of young people in the US during the 1960s and 70s

Audio Pronunciation: (coun·ter·cul·ture)

Download Audio Pronunciation: counterculture.mp3

Usage Notes:

  • Plural: countercultures
  • Variant forms:
    • counter-culture
    • counter culture
  • Also called:
    • anticulture (anti-culture)
    • alternative culture
  • A (noun) counterculturalist has a (adjective) countercultural lifestyle.

Related Quotations:

  • “A counterculture rejects many of the behavioral standards and guideposts that hold the dominant culture” (Hughes and Kroehler 2008:56).
  • “Examples of countercultures include the beatniks of the 1950s, the flower children of the 1960s, the drug enthusiasts of the 1970s, and members of nonmainstream religious sects, or cults. Some countercultures such as the Ku Klux Klan, militias, neo-Nazi skinheads, and the Nation of Islam) engage in revolutionary political activities” (Kendall 2006:61).

Additional Information:

Related Terms: 


Hughes, Michael, and Carolyn J. Kroehler. 2008. Sociology: The Core. 8th ed. Boston: McGraw Hill.

Kendall, Diane. 2006. Sociology in Our Times: The Essentials. 5th ed. Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth.

Princeton University. 2010. “About WordNet.” WordNet. (