Gender and 1960s youth culture: The rolling stones and the new woman

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In the 1960s some young British women challenged established gender roles, pursuing education, careers and personal freedom. Many of them grew frustrated with the limitations of 1960s youth culture, and particularly of new permissive sexual norms. The Rolling Stones, as a significant cultural force and symbol of London youth culture and sexual 'freedom', became a focus for criticism of this culture growing out of the women's liberation movement at the end of the decade and developing in the years since then. However, the Rolling Stones' response to changing gender roles in this period was complex and contradictory. At times, their songs endorsed women's subordination, rejecting their claims to independence. On the other hand, a number of the songs celebrated independent women and mutual relationships. The Rolling Stones, central figures in the youth culture of the 1960s and a symbol of that culture's commitment to subordinating women, were conflicted and ambivalent, rather than uniformly hostile, to changing gender roles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-100
Number of pages22
JournalContemporary British History
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Development
  • Safety Research
  • Political Science and International Relations


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