A counterculture (also written counter-culture) is a subculture whose values and norms of behavior differ substantially from those of mainstream society, often in opposition to mainstream cultural mores.[1][2] A countercultural movement expresses the ethos and aspirations of a specific population during a well-defined era. When oppositional forces reach critical mass, countercultures can trigger dramatic cultural changes. Prominent examples of countercultures in Europe and North America include Romanticism (1790–1840), Bohemianism (1850–1910), the more fragmentary counterculture of the Beat Generation (1944–1964), followed by the globalized counterculture of the 1960s (1964–1974), usually associated with the hippie subculture [3] and the diversified Punk subculture of the 1980s.


  1. "counterculture," Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary, 2008, MWCCul.
  2. Eric Donald Hirsch. The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy. Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0-395-65597-8. (1993) p 419. "Members of a cultural protest that began in the U.S. In the 1960s and Europe before fading in the 1970s... fundamentally a cultural rather than a political protest."
  3. F.X. Shea, S.J., "Reason and the Religion of the Counter-Culture", Harvard Theological Review, Vol. 66/1 (1973), pp. 95-111, JSTOR-3B2-X.