Pioneering Hip: San Francisco and its Mid-Century Countercultures.
Abstract: This thesis investigated the history of San Francisco and how it
fostered the development of counterculture movements in the 1950s and 1960s. San Francisco,
from its origins as a gold rush boomtown to modern movements of community preservation, has
always been more encouraging of alternative viewpoints than other American cities. In the
1950s, San Francisco attracted migrants who exp... read moreressed their dissatisfaction with American
society through poetry and literature; this group of artists, led by Jack Kerouac and Allen
Ginsberg, became the Beat Generation. As conformity became increasingly frustrating for a
growing number of American young people, San Francisco was again the center of youth
rebellion in the 1960s. The Hippie counterculture situated in Haight-Ashbury in the 1960s
reflected continuity of counterculture ideals from the Beats of the 1950s. The development
of these two countercultures in mid-century America was essentially facilitated by San
Francisco's historically exceptional urban identity of nonconformity.
Thesis (M.A.)--Tufts University, 2011.
Submitted to the Dept. of History.
Advisor: Reed Ueda.
Committee: Ronna Johnson, and Virginia Drachman.
Keyword: American History.read less