For the research paper for ESL 151, you have already introduced yourself to the general topic with the Library Book Preview assignment on the topic of “1968”, a great year 50 years ago in modern American history and for some, world history. It was a period of a more open society, many social changes and social unrest and chaos. You may have already encountered words like: the Vietnam War, the assassination of MLK and RFK, the mini skirt, Soul music, The Beatles, Civil Rights, Apollo 8, the Zodiac killer, the My Lai Massacre, the protests at the DNC, university campus activism, women’s liberation, and Black Power. You can write on the US war, peace movements, discrimination and anti-racism, social unrest, the youth and counter cultures, assassination of national and local leaders, developments in technology, music, fashion, and art. You will need to choose your own specific topic from any of these general topics and others. You need not restrict yourself to the year 1968, the 1960s is a more general area to search.
Explore the sample research questions below. Also look at the topics and search terms and see what additional questions you might develop. What are you curious about? Then pursue these questions by looking up Wikipedia on the internet, books on the GCC Online Library Catalog and periodicals in the Library Databases, or look online for history webpages, newspaper articles, and magazine features. You can use one of the research questions below or develop your own topic. In any case, be sure to consult with your instructor to get help and approval of your research question. Note that many of the topics below overlap, for example, protest can be found under youth culture, feminism, and anti-war.
A. Culture: The Good Life
The 1960s was a period of economic growth and affluence.
Consumer fads, materialism, and a hedonistic lifestyle
Entertainment and Recreation—TV, mass media, bowling, fishing, hunting, foreign travel, love of the automobile
Athletics—professional sporting events, 1968 Olympics, Muhammed Ali, Special Olympics, the Astro Dome stadium
Individual sports—Frisbee, Hulu Hoop
Consumerism—consumer choice, consumer protection, effortless kitchen, modern conveniences
Poverty—The Great Society programs, Medicare, Medicaid, suburban life, Housing and Urban Development
Did women have to work to support her family in the 1960s?
How does the culture of materialism and anti-materialism happen at the same time?
What was the standard of living for most Americans at this time?
How was the American Dream defined at this time and what was the reality for most Americans?
What is the cultural significance of the Hulu Hoop in American life?