Definition of Counterculture
(noun) A culture within a larger culture that deliberately challenges or rejects the dominant culture’s behaviors, beliefs, lifestyle, norms, and values.
Examples of Counterculture
- Activists during the Civil Rights Movement (1954–1968).
- Aryan Nations
- cult members
- Hippies, part of the Flower Power movement in the 1960s and 1970s.
- gay liberation movement
- survivalists (also called preppers)
Etymology of Counterculture
- Term attributed to Theodore Roszak (1933–2011), author of The Making of a Counter Culture: Reflections on the Technocratic Society and Its Youthful Opposition (1969).
- American English – /kOUn-tuhr-kuhl-chuhr/
- British English – /kOUn-tuh-kuhl-chuh/
International Phonetic Alphabet
- American English: /ˈkaʊntɚˌkʌltʃɚ/
- British English: /ˈkaʊntəˌkʌltʃə/
- Plural: countercultures
- Leaders in countercultures, particularly gurus or spiritual leaders, typically have charismatic authority and their groups can become sects.
- A type of culture and subculture.
- Variant spellings:
- counter culture
- Also called:
- anticulture (anti-culture)
- alternative culture (alternative-culture)
- anticulture (anti-culture)
- A (noun) counterculturist or (noun) counterculturalist has a (adjective) countercultural lifestyle while practicing (noun) counterculturalism.
- “[I]t is the American young, with their underdeveloped radical background, who seem to have grasped most clearly the fact that, while such immediate emergencies as the Vietnam war, racial injustice, and hard-core poverty demand a deal of old-style politicking, the paramount struggle of our day is against a far more formidable, because far less obvious, opponent, to which I will give the name ‘the technocracy‘—a social form more highly developed in America than in any other society. The American young have been somewhat quicker to sense that in the struggle against this enemy, the conventional tactics of political resistance have only a marginal place, largely limited to meeting immediate life-and-death crises. Beyond such front-line issues, however, there lies the greater task of altering the total cultural context within which our daily politics takes place” (Roszak 1969:5–6).
- Word origin of “counterculture” – Online Etymology Dictionary: etymonline.com
- Berger, Bennett M. 1981. The Survival of a Counterculture: Ideological Work and Everyday Life among Rural Communards. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
- Himmelfarb, Gertrude. 1999. One Nation, Two Cultures. New York: Knopf.
- Laffan, Barry. 1997. Communal Organization and Social Transition: A Case Study from the Counterculture of the Sixties and Seventies. New York: P. Lang.
- Roszak, Theodore. 1969. The Making of a Counterculture: Reflections on the Technocratic Society and its Youthful Opposition. London: Faber.
- Westhues, Kenneth. 1972. Society’s Shadow: Studies in the Sociology of Countercultures. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson.
- Worsley, Peter. 1997. Knowledges: Culture, Counterculture, Subculture. New York: New Press.
- Counterculture – New World Encyclopedia: newworldencyclopedia.org
Roszak, Theodore. 1969. The Making of a Counter Culture: Reflections on the Technocratic Society and Its Youthful Opposition. Garden City, NY: Anchor Books.
Abercrombie, Nicholas, Stephen Hill, and Bryan Turner. 2006. The Penguin Dictionary of Sociology. 5th ed. London: Penguin.
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. 5th ed. 2011. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Andersen, Margaret L., and Howard Francis Taylor. 2011. Sociology: The Essentials. 6th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Brinkerhoff, David, Lynn White, Suzanne Ortega, and Rose Weitz. 2011. Essentials of Sociology. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Bruce, Steve, and Steven Yearley. 2006. The SAGE Dictionary of Sociology. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
Brym, Robert J., and John Lie. 2007. Sociology: Your Compass for a New World. 3rd ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Ferrante, Joan. 2011a. Seeing Sociology: An Introduction. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Ferrante, Joan. 2011b. Sociology: A Global Perspective. 7th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Ferris, Kerry, and Jill Stein. 2010. The Real World: An Introduction to Sociology. 2nd ed. New York: Norton.
Griffiths, Heather, Nathan Keirns, Eric Strayer, Susan Cody-Rydzewski, Gail Scaramuzzo, Tommy Sadler, Sally Vyain, Jeff Bry, Faye Jones. 2016. Introduction to Sociology 2e. Houston, TX: OpenStax.
Henslin, James M. 2012. Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach. 10th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Hughes, Michael, and Carolyn J. Kroehler. 2011. Sociology: The Core. 10th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Jary, David, and Julia Jary. 2000. Collins Dictionary of Sociology. 3rd ed. Glasgow, Scotland: HarperCollins.
Kendall, Diana. 2011. Sociology in Our Times. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Kimmel, Michael S., and Amy Aronson. 2012. Sociology Now. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Kornblum, William. 2008. Sociology in a Changing World. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Macionis, John. 2012. Sociology. 14th ed. Boston: Pearson.
Macionis, John, and Kenneth Plummer. 2012. Sociology: A Global Introduction. 4th ed. Harlow, England: Pearson Education.
Princeton University. 2010. WordNet. (https://wordnet.princeton.edu/).
Random House Webster’s College Dictionary. 1997. New York: Random House.
Ravelli, Bruce, and Michelle Webber. 2016. Exploring Sociology: A Canadian Perspective. 3rd ed. Toronto: Pearson.
Schaefer, Richard. 2013. Sociology: A Brief Introduction. 10th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Scott, John, and Gordon Marshall. 2005. A Dictionary of Sociology. New York: Oxford University Press.
Shepard, Jon M. 2010. Sociology. 11th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Shepard, Jon M., and Robert W. Greene. 2003. Sociology and You. New York: Glencoe.
Stolley, Kathy S. 2005. The Basics of Sociology. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
Thompson, William E., and Joseph V. Hickey. 2012. Society in Focus: An Introduction to Sociology. 7th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Turner, Bryan S., ed. 2006. The Cambridge Dictionary of Sociology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation. (https://en.wikipedia.org/).
Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wiktionary, The Free Dictionary. Wikimedia Foundation. (http://en.wiktionary.org).
Cite the Definition of Counterculture
ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “counterculture.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved March 28, 2023 (https://sociologydictionary.org/counterculture/).
APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)
counterculture. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/counterculture/
Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “counterculture.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed March 28, 2023. https://sociologydictionary.org/counterculture/.
MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)
“counterculture.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 28 Mar. 2023. <https://sociologydictionary.org/counterculture/>.