Generations: The ‘Revolutions’ of the 1960s

Uta G. Poiger

in The Oxford Handbook of Modern German History

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199237395
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191743917 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History

 Generations: The ‘Revolutions’ of the 1960s

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This article traces the revolutions that raged Germany during the 1960s. This later part of the decade saw involvement of all and sundry in revolutions. The ‘Sixties’ — as a set of associations included greater autonomy of youth, anti-imperialist and anti-war activism, leftist aspirations to political revolt, sexual revolution, and women's emancipation. ‘1968’, in particular, functions as a myth, fostered by the participants in rebellion, their detractors, and the media. Both international connections and national politics shaped the 1960s rebellions — and the efforts to assess them ever since. This article presents the different manifestations of rebellions in East and West. It focuses on the relationship between reform and rebellion as a way of understanding the transformations and upheavals of the 1960s, especially in such areas as youth cultures and the entertainment industry, shifts in gender and sexual norms, challenges to the workings of political and educational institutions, and anti-colonialism.

Keywords: revolutions; autonomy; anti-imperialist; anti-war activism; women's emancipation; national politics; anti-colonialism

Article.  11019 words. 

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945)

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