“Dignity is defined as the personal quality of being worthy of honor.(Websters.your dictionary.com)”
It seems that every generation has a different way of defining this concept within themselves. Every generation has a perception of what the fiber of dignity consists of, and it seems to be an ever changing colorful fabric throughout the decades. Looking back through the fifties and sixties, there was a major turnover in many aspects of society. What was percieved to be the American Dream throughout the fifties was heavily challenged by the generation growing up in the sixties. A cliché family unit was becoming less mainstream, and counter culture was coming into focus. Wether in the formation of student protests in Berkeley, California where free speech and anti war demonstrations were common, or the formations of groups like the Black Panther Party, social reform was in full swing. All in the name of dignity.
Going back to the year 1950, the nuclear family was at its peak, and the American Dream was as strong as ever. The notion that the average blue collar working man could make his destiny whatever he wished with a dollar and a dream was intoxicating. Being well liked and attractive gave false promises to the working class who, in the end, worked the same job for 30 years just to have the realization that they had really gone nowhere. They had stayed stagnant in an era that promised growth to the common man. The American Dream had failed them. This led into another event of the 1950s that would foreshadow the beginning of the sixties as a decade of free speech and change.
Is rebellion a form of finding ones dignity? As a man in the 1950’s having a picture perfect nuclear family, and a job that supported them was the ultimate goal. Moving closer to the sixties, this way of living was challenged. There were those who rejected that as the only option, and instead, chose a group of men, or a “gang,” as a sudo-family. Making the rebellious...