The Beat Generation: They Were Hipsters Not Beatniks

Publication Year:
2012
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Repository URL:
https://digitalcommons.wou.edu/his/4
Author(s):
Huddleston, Diane M.
Tags:
beat generation; beat poets; nonconformists beatniks; white negro; obscenity; anti-intellectuals; American Popular Culture; American Studies; Cultural History; History
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paper description
The tragedy of the Beat Generation is that it was misunderstood, and the media perpetuated this misunderstanding, either out of ignorance or on purpose. The media, in trying to explain what the Beats were about, got it wrong and promoted a simplified, inaccurate stereotype that obscured their philosophy and minimized their contributions to literature and culture. The Beats identified with the hipsters of that time, but were transformed into cartoon characters called beatniks which became a juvenile fad that was not taken seriously.