Hippie (or sometimes "hippy") is a term originally used to describe some of the rebellious youth of the 1960s and 1970s.

Though not a cohesive cultural movement with manifestos and leaders, hippies expressed their desire for change with communal or nomadic lifestyles, by renouncing corporate nationalism and the Vietnam War, by embracing aspects of non-traditional religious cultures, and with criticism of Western middle class values. Criticism included the views that the goverment was paternalistic, corporate industry was greedy and domineering, traditional morals were askew, and war was inhumane. The structures and institutions they rejected came to be called the establishment.

"Hippie" is also used, in a derogatory sense, to describe long-haired unkempt drug users, regardless of their socio-political beliefs.



In the 1940s and 1950s the terms "hipster" and "beatnik" came into usage by the American beat generation to describe jazz and swing music performers, and evolved to also describe the bohemian-like counterculture that formed around the art of the time.

The 1960s hippie culture evolved from the beat culture, and was greatly influenced by changing music style and the creation of rock & roll from jazz.

On the East coast of the U.S., in Greenwich Village, young counterculture advocates were called, and referred to themselves as "hips". To be "hip" meant at that time, "to be in the know". Young disaffected youth from the suburbs of New York City flocked to the Village in their oldest clothes, to fit into the counterculture movement, the coffee houses, etc. Radio station WBAI was the first media outlet to use the term "hippie" to describe the poorly-dressed middle class youths as a pejorative term originally meaning "hip wannabes".

September 6, 1965, marked the first San Francisco newspaper story, by Michael Fellon, that used the word "hippie" to refer to younger bohemians. The name did not catch on in mass media until almost two years later.

Hippie action in the San Francisco area, particularly the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, centered around the Diggers, a guerilla street theater group that combined spontaneous street theater, anarchistic action, and art happenings in their agenda of creating a "free city". The San Francisco Diggers grew from two radical traditions thriving in the area in the mid-1960s: the bohemian/underground art/theater scene, and the new left/civil rights/peace movement.

Los Angeles also had a vibrant hippie scene in the mid-'60s, arising from a combination of the L.A. beat scene centered around Venice and its coffeehouses, which spawned the Doors, and the Sunset Strip, the quintessential L.A. hippie gathering area, with its seminal rock clubs, such as the Whisky-a-Go-Go, and the Troubadour just down the hill. The Strip was also the location of the actual protest referred to in the Buffalo Springfiled's early hippie anthem of 1966, For What It's Worth.

Summer 1967 in Haight-Ashbury became known as the "Summer of Love" as young people gathered (75,000 by police estimates) and shared the new culture of, music, drugs, and rebellion. However, the Diggers felt co-opted by media attention and interpretation, and at the end of the summer held a Death of Hippie parade.

The hippie movement reached its height in the late 1960s, as evidenced by the July 7, 1967 issue of TIME magazine, which had for its cover story: The Hippies: The Philosophy of a Subculture.

Because many hippies wore flowers in their hair and distributed flowers to passerby, they earned the alternative name, "flower children".


Hippies often participated in peace movements, including peace marches such as the USA marches on Washington and civil rights marches, and anti-Vietnam War demonstrations including the 1968 Democratic Convention. Yippies represented a highly politically active sub-group.

Though by 2005 standards, they were prone to sexism, the culture rapidly embraced feminism and egalitarian principles.

Though hippies embodied a counterculture movement, early hippies were not particularly tolerant of homosexuality. Acceptance of homosexuality grew with the culture.

Hippie political expression also took the form of "dropping out" of society to implement the changes they sought. The back to the land movement, cooperative business enterprises, alternative energy, free press movement, and organic farming embraced by hippies were all political in nature at their start.


The drug use among the hippies is believed to be largely exaggerated by their Pro-Viet Nam-war opponents who tried to use a drug habits among hippies as an argument to disqualify their anti-war statements. But, driven by the appeal of the Sixties "drug guru", Harvard professor Timothy Leary, who advocated hallucinogenic drugs as a form of mind expansion, many hippies participated in recreational drug use, particularly marijuana, hashish, and hallucinogens such as LSD and psilocybin. Some hippies prize marijuana for its iconoclastic, illicit nature, as well as for its psychopharmaceutical effects. Although many hippies did not use drugs, drug use is a trait ascribed to hippies and as a reason for their disaffection for societial rules.

Drugs were, and still are, controversially considered a central theme in hippie culture.

Many people think that hippies did not smoke tobacco cigarettes, and considered tobacco dangerous, but photographs from the time shows many hippies smoking cigarettes.


By 1970, much of the hippie style, but little of its substance, had passed into mainstream culture. The media lost interest in the subculture. However, many hippies made, and continue to maintain, long-term commitments to the lifestyle. Because hippies have avoided publicity since the Summer of Love/Woodstock era, a myth arose that they no longer exist. As of 2005, hippies are found in bohemian, open-minded enclaves around the world, as wanderers following the bands they love. Since the early 1970s, many rendevous annually at Rainbow Gatherings to celebrate and pray for peace. Others gather at meetings and festivals celebrating life and love, such as the Peace Fest (http://www.PeaceFest2005.tk).

In the United Kingdom the New age travellers movement continued many hippy ideas into the 1980s and 1990s.

Another legacy of the hippie generation is Woodstock. A memorable year at Woodstock was in 1969, when Jimi Hendrix "woke-up" the crowd with his unconventional rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner.



"Neo-hippie" is a name given to turn of the 21st century hippies, who retain some aspects of the 1960s hippie movement. Dreadlocks, especially with beads sewn into them, are popular among neo-hippies.

Some people also often consider modern day Goth kids or Emo kids to be this generation's hippies. They share many values with hippies of the 1960s, such as freedom of expression, i.e. wearing what they want and acting however they feel. The main difference was that while hippies often cared about politics and the direction of the world, these Neo-hippies usually don't have many political leanings.

Pejorative connotations

The term "hippie" is often used by more conservative or mainstream people with the pejorative connotation of participation in recreational drug use, at least to the extent of using marijuana, and choosing not to think or care much about work, responsibility, the larger society, or personal hygiene. It is also sometimes used as a derogitory term (sometimes seriously and sometimes more in jest) by members of the punk rock subculture, with the connotation of someone being more pacifistic or un-macho.

See also

External links


de:Hippie es:Hippie eo:Hipio fr:Hippie it:Hippie nl:Hippie ja:ヒッピー pl:Hippisi pt:Hippie ru:Хиппи fi:Hipit


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