Yasmin Malhotra is an eloquent writer who frequently researches and composes papers on a wide variety of subjects. Whether she’s writing about international affairs or about American culture during the 60s, Yasmin has the ability to understand her subject and convey the information in an insightful and unique manner. Here is a sampling of some of Yasmin’s takes on popular topics
On counterculture and the “hippie” movement
Yasmin explains that modern societal changes are a result of the country’s free market system, which helped to create a rise in mass consumption. As she notes, “This ‘glorification of plenty’ abandons the Puritan and Protestant ethic not only in terms of culture then, but also creates a contradiction within the social structure of society.” Essentially, companies are looking for individuals who are willing to work hard and efficiently. These companies buy into the ideas of instant gratification and luxury.
With regard to societal shifts during the 1960s, some individuals are under the impression that businesses stood in the way of the counter-culture movement, when in reality many companies viewed counter-culture as an ally against protocols that were no longer working. In fact, it was during this time that many brands began to take a closer look at the way they marketed themselves.
It was common for companies in the 1960s to struggle with what Yasmin Malhotra calls “creative dullness.” The members of the counter-culture movement were familiar with these concerns, except they believed that mainstream society was suffering from a dull period.
As industry leaders viewed what was happening around them with regard to the counter-culture, they created they decided to go about making changes within their own businesses. In a way, the changes occurring on a larger scale in the country were mimicked within individual businesses. Companies started to promote their own uniqueness and they aimed to develop niches within in their fields, thus separating themselves from competitors. This helped to create a sense of individuality that moved away from more traditional Puritan values and brought on a new approach to consumerism.
While industry leaders were shifting their approach to grabbing market share, their employees’ attitudes were changing, too. While Puritan values emphasized the importance of self-restraint, employees began to focus on rebellion and acting as a unique person. Employees began to crave self-gratification and instant pleasure, placing less of an emphasis on traditional values of hierarchy, efficiency, and work ethic. Yasmin Malhotranotes that it was certainly a tumultuous time both for American businesses and modern society as a whole.
As companies got more interested in the counter-culture movement that thrived around them, they began to express disinterest in conformity and oppression. They wanted to appease consumers’ desire for change as they quickly churned out new products. It’s clear that these alterations went much beyond a shift in the approach to business; it was a full-on liberation of the way people lived.
Yasmin Malhotrawrites that the hippie movement used music as fuel, and acted as a way to express views that stood in direct opposition to traditional Protestant and Puritan beliefs and values. Many of the views promoted by the hippie movement included the desire for self-gratification (frequently through drug use) and the pursuit of pleasure in general.
There were many cultural icons that rose to popularity during this time. Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix were two such figures. While these two individuals are often associated with the hippie movement, and were beloved by many of its participants, in reality they were at odds with the mainstream “counter-culture” movement that they frequently were grouped in with.
Yasmin Malhotra Talks Musicians during the Movement
Jimi Hendrix played a powerful role during this time period. Individuals explain that he was able to transcend race as he created his own identity. He broke down stereotypes about black musicians. He was heavily influenced by Elvis, and was often accused of using white style to assimilate due to fear of oppression. However, Hendrix wasn’t concerned with his racial grouping. He was more interested in creating music that all people could enjoy. For this reason, he was able to rise above racial boundaries.
Janis Joplin was also an iconic figure during this time. What Jimi Hendrix did for race, Janis Joplin was able to do for gender. Her style made her different from male rock musicians, and led her to become a progressive rock figure of the time. As Yasmin notes, Joplin made it okay for white female performers present themselves as something other than pretty, which was a revolutionary concept in this era.
Though her physical beauty wasn’t an important issue, records show that Joplin still struggled with self-confidence issues. In fact, she often felt like a societal outcast, which was part of the reason she grew up to reject traditional values about female roles and beauty. Some historians explain that Joplin’s thirst for fame and popularity can actually get tracked back to her desire for acceptance, and her own issues with insecurity.
As Yasmin Malhotraexplains, Janis Joplin originally became famous for her music, but her legacy expanded beyond just her sound. She showed that it was acceptable for women to enter male dominated professions. She also illustrated that women didn’t have to have physical beauty in order to have worth.
Much of Joplin’s music was filled with female angst. Interestingly enough, though some may consider Joplin a figure of the feminist movement of this time, she actually removed herself from an activist role. She didn’t participate in any gay liberation (she was deemed “sexually free”) or feminist groups. Despite her lack of leadership in these movements, Joplin was still well respected for her disobedience when it came to cultural limitations. She was a true individual, she was rebellious, and, whether she liked it or not, she stood for counter-culture.
Both Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix are legendary in the way that they shaped culture during this time period. They went against traditional Puritan and Protestant ideals. Unlike other individuals during this time, they weren’t concerned with fighting social boundaries, but they were focused on pursuing their own individual identities.
Yasmin Malhotra is a scholar and writer who enjoys researching a wide variety of topics. Yasmin Malhotra finds the counter-culture movement of the 1960s particularly fascinating and enjoys studying the influence of musical icons such as Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix.
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