What is a beatnik?


What is a beatnik?

1950s Conformity:

The 1950s was a fairly conservative time in the United States. Under Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower the economy boomed. Social conformity was widespread. Many middle-class Americans lived in cookie-cutter suburban homes, drove the same model vehicle, and dressed similarly. Those who did not fit the mold tended to be ostracized.

Answer and Explanation:

The Beatniks emerged in the 1950s as a group of poets and intellectuals willing to revolt against the conformity of the era. Typically Beatniks were identified by their unique style of dress. Many wore all black, while berets were also common among the ''Beat'' Generation. Beatniks were progressives who resisted traditional conservatism. Some were communists, while others were simply liberals. Many Beatniks experimented with drugs and supported sexual liberation.

Learn more about this topic:

The Counter-Culture of Post-War America


Chapter 8 / Lesson 6

After World War II ended, the United States experienced a counter-culture to protest the nation's socially conservative mainstream culture. Explore the counter-culture of post-war America, including the Beat Generation, 'Beatniks,' and other counter-culture groups, including homosexuals. Learn about the Red Scare, communism, civil rights, and liberated attitudes towards sexuality.

Related to this Question

Explore our homework questions and answers library