American Culture in the 1970s (Twentieth-Century American by Will Kaufman

By Will Kaufman

The Nineteen Seventies used to be a culturally vivid interval. Will Kaufman addresses the dominant cultural different types of the 1970s—fiction and poetry; tv and drama; movie and visible tradition; well known track and elegance; public house and spectacle—and the decade's so much influential figures and texts, from the writer Toni Morrison to the tv sequence, All within the relatives, from Diane Arbus to Bruce Springsteen, from M.A.S.H. to Taxi motive force, and from disco divas to protestors of the Vietnam struggle. Proving there is extra to the last decade than polyester and narcissism, American tradition within the Nineteen Seventies severely reengages with one in all America's so much misunderstood eras. (9/1/09)

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127) Certainly, too, Lasch’s identification of ‘the dread of old age’ – reflected in the proliferation of ‘sciences and pseudo-sciences’ such as ‘geriatrics, gerontology, thanatology, cryonics [and] “immortalism” ’ (207) – will carry some weight for those familiar with the plethora of products and processes that remove wrinkles, hide age-spots and replace sagging skin. ‘The denial of age in America’, Lasch writes, is yet another symptom of the culture of narcissism; ‘the prolongevity movement, which hopes to abolish old age altogether’, is less ‘a cult of youth’ than ‘a cult of the self’, expressing ‘in characteristic form the anxieties of a culture that believes it has no future’.

The ‘Brown Berets’, as the students in the vanguard of the moratorium called themselves, evoked a militant activism shared by other ethnic groups such as the The Intellectual Context 23 American Indian Movement (AIM), whose strategies throughout the 1970s included the mass seizure of Federal facilities that had begun with the occupation of Alcatraz Island in 1969, and climaxed with the occupation of Wounded Knee, South Dakota, in 1973. Militant groups such as these took some of their cues from the Black Panthers who, by 1970, had shifted from the project of black internationalism (spearheaded by co-founders Bobby Seale and Huey Newton) to that of ‘Black Power’.

For Edward D. 8 In his extremely dark assessment of the 1970s, Philip Jenkins maintains: The year 1970 is an especially implausible candidate for marking the end of an era, because so much of the unrest of the 1960s was peaking in that year, while critical events we think of as characterizing sixties liberalism actually occurred afterward. 9 The concept of a ‘great shift’ underlies another significant reading of the 1970s, that of J. David Hoeveler Jr, who argues that the decade marked – or was marked by – the transition from modernism to postmodernism, what he calls ‘the postmodernist turn’: The recurrent motif in 1970s culture is the dismantling of inherited forms, descriptive norms, sharp and inclusive modes of categorization; instead, we have the blurring of distinctions, the mixing of forms, a discomfort with preciseness in signification and representation .

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