Document Type

Honors Project


This thesis examines the dynamics of the counterculture at Macalester College from 1966 to 1974 using oral histories with alumni and articles from The Mac Weekly. The thesis demonstrates that at Macalester the social ferment of the counterculture and the political activism of the antiwar movement were inseparably linked. At Macalester, students adapted the activities of the national counterculture to suit their own ideals and values. This caused the counterculture at Macalester to develop differently than larger national movements, with the antiwar movement forming the center of countercultural activity on campus. This led to an unusual and complicated counterculture guided by personal adherence to the ideals of an imagined national movement. The lived experiences and voices of alumni that attended Macalester between 1966 and 1974 challenge the traditional narrative and models of the national counterculture, which present this group as politically apathetic and culturally unconstrained. Sheltered by their liberal administration, Macalester students were not as active as students at other colleges like Columbia or Berkeley. Instead, they constructed a counterculture that reflected the prominent antiwar sentiments of their student body. This essay also asserts that the predominance of antiwar sentiment on campus led to the development of the counterculture as the dominant culture at Macalester. This caused the marginalization of less visible populations like conservatives, women, and economically disadvantaged students.

Included in

History Commons



© Copyright is owned by author of this document