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This discussion addresses the following outcome:
Analyze the particular impact of social and cultural changes in the 1960s and 1970s on American minorities and women (CO#1, CO#4, CO#5/Gen. Ed. Outcome 4.2)
Examine the role of the baby boomer generation in the major social, economic and political changes of the 1960s and 1970s (CO#1, CO#4, CO#5/Gen. Ed. Outcome 4.2)
Many of the social and political changes of the late twentieth century affected oppressed groups in the US, including minorities and women. Women, African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, gays, and lesbians saw significant changes to their social and political rights during the upheaval of the 1960s and 1970s.
For this discussion, speak to (or email with) someone who belongs to one of the groups list above and was at least a teenager in the 1960s or 1970s (if possible, someone from the Baby Boomer generation). If you are unable to locate someone from that time period, please let your instructor know and s/he will provide you with additional resources.
Ask the person to describe to you what life was like for himself/herself then and how s/he feels that things changed over the 1960s and 1970s and how they differed from previous eras.
In particular, ask them about social movements, work and housing discrimination, and social relations between their group and others. Feel free to ask about other topics pertaining to that particular group as well and about the Baby Boomer generation in this era, including the Vietnam War and the Cold War.
Before you beginning this discussion, be sure to read the Module Notes, Chapter 27: “The Sixties (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.” and Chapter 28: “The Unraveling (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.” in The American Yawp and view The Class of the 20th Century—Class of 1968-1970 (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. [Video, 46:30 minutes]. You may also find pages 6-9 of this Oral History guide (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. [PDF, File Size 225.28 KB] (starting with “Conducting the Interviews”) useful in thinking about how to approach and structure your interview.
Once you have conducted your interview and read the material below, consider the following in a post of at least 250 words:
Summarize what you have learned from the person you interviewed and how it affects your interpretation of the 1960s and 1970s.
Did the large-scale social and political changes of the 1960s and 1970s make a difference in the lives of individual Americans? What problems and inequalities remained?
How did Baby Boomers differ from the generations before them? How were they influenced by the context of social movements, the Cold War, and affluence of the 1950s?
After posting, discuss with two of your classmates how the experiences of those you interviewed were similar or different.
Your initial post is due by Thursday at 11:59 PM. Your responses are due by Sunday at 11:59 PM.
Consult the Discussion Posting Guide for information about writing your discussion posts. It is recommended that you write your post in a document first. Check your work and correct any spelling or grammatical errors. When you are ready to make your initial post, click on “Reply.” Then copy/paste the text into the message field, and click “Post Reply.” This is a “post first” discussion forum. You must submit your initial post before you can view other students’ posts.
To respond to a peer, click “Reply” beneath her or his post and continue as with an initial post.


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