That '70s Culture

Cailin B

The Aesthetic

A Time for the Youth

Innovations in fashion, technology, and music defined a lot of what people nowadays see as the '70s culture.

The clothing was typically brightly coloured, and as fitting this time of self-expression and individualism, people often dressed to their own personal liking, though still following certain trends to a degree. Women's fashion came to be more greatly varied than men's in this time, too, reflecting the cultural change that arose as more women began to fight for equality and shun the traditional ideals that hung so prevalently over the prior decades.

Technology also played a hand in the cultural definement of the '70s. The introduction of the Atari and the game Pong in 1972 resulted in the first video game to reach the mainstream audience, and the popularity of video games hereafter. With technology also comes the digital media, specifically, the television and the shows on it. 1971 marked the starting year of the series All in the Family, that dealt with controversial topics such as homosexuality and racism, which were relevant issues at the time. Other shows such as The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family ran through the '70s, with a large focus on family life.

Music went through a major change in the '70s. Disco, Rock, and Punk Rock were the prominent genres of the time, and were heavily youth-oriented. Young adults would often go disco dancing or go to roller rinks with typical disco music and socialize. Rock and punk appealed to the more rebellious, with artists like AC/DC and The Ramones coming on to the scene. Also fitting of the colourful decade, this is also the time that lasers started appearing in concerts.

The Philosophy

A Time for Revolt

Flying on the wings of the late '60's more liberal movements, the '70s was a time of youthful rebellion in the name of human rights. Fed up with war and inequality and the damage done to the environment, many people of the '70s took to protesting for their rights and the rights of others.

With the success of the civil rights movement in the late '60s came the rise of the feminist movement. Many women sought to empower themselves and their gender, using signs and petitions to get their point across. Though drafted in previous decades, it was in the '70s that the Equal Rights Amendment, or ERA, managed to cover significant ground, though it ultimately failed. Other social movements, such as the gay rights movement, also found more ground, marking the '70s culture as one of a more liberal nature.

The Vietnam War was also subject of much protest, and was the reason that many of the people at this time became disillusioned with war in general, as well as with the government for failing to react in a more fitting manner. People became more reliant on their own power to change things instead of the ruling forces in all aspects, and considered themselves to be very independent. Notably, this sense of self is what lead to the article by novelist Tom Wolfe known as "The 'Me' Decade."