Vietnam War Cultural Impact

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Cultural Impacts of the Vietnam War on America In the spirit of hippie antipolitics and the all too familiar phrases of “make love not war” and “bring our boys home!” everything from sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll to corrupt politicians, American soldiers dyeing in Vietnam; the period between 1960-1975 forever changed American culture. The Vietnam War had a direct impact on American society, and left a cultural legacy on the country indefinitely. The changes are evident as the United States experienced a second inner revolution creating anti-war protests and demonstrations that helped create a new generation or free loving, expressive, radical “hippies.” The Vietnam War has left legacies in…show more content…
Their society and their culture were impacted dramatically. Culture involves the shared lifestyles, personal dispositions, beliefs, values, codes, and language; therefore the change of a culture can have a significant impact on a country. As in this case, the way in which the culture and people had been changed by this war has yet to be fully understood. Time magazine has called it “the war that will not end;”52 because there continues to be lasting legacies of the cultural and social changes and divisions that had been created by the war still existent within American society. These aspects remain in the culture of Americans because they provide a unique vehicle for the representation of cultural unity. Sometimes referred to as the “The home front.” “The living room war” or “the war at home.”53 Evocations of home resonate in descriptions of the impact upon American culture of the Vietnam War. Some historians claim that although the US soldiers were fighting overseas in the Vietnam War, many Americans back at home were fighting their own war. War was brought to American culture. On the one hand the presence of the impact of the war on Vietnam produced the notion of cultural division; on the other hand it resulted in the assertion of unity.54 The paradox resulting from the opposing sets of representations has been resolved within American culture through the privileging of certain positions and notions that have reconstructed “Vietnam” as a sign of homogeneity and collectively.55 The resolution does not mean that the notion of cultural division has been erased by that of unity. The idea of the divisive impact of the war continues to circulate in various places within American
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