Counterculture is a cultural protest movement. It can coexist simultaneously several countercultures within the same society
This neologism is generally attributed to the sociologist Theodore Roszak, who published in 1969 The Making of a Counter Culture. The term “counterculture” is found also in the writings of John Milton Yinger in 1960 in the American Sociological Review published by the American Sociological Association. Yinger published in 1982 Countercultures: The Promise and Peril of a World Turned Upside Down.
In Cultural Studies, a counterculture is a subculture shared by a group of individuals distinguished by a conscious and deliberate opposition to the dominant culture.
The concept has been subject to a number of criticisms. Sheila Whiteley writes, for example that “recent developments in sociological theory complicate and problematize theories developed in the 1960s, with digital technology, for example, providing an impetus for new understandings of counterculture”.
According to Andy Bennett, “despite the criticisms of subcultural theory as a framework for the sociological study of the relationship between youth, music, style and identity, the term `subculture’ continues to be widely used […]” so that they are now part of a “received, mediated memory.” Nevertheless, “this involved not simply the utopian but also the dystopian and that while festivals such as those held at Monterey and Woodstock might appear to embrace the former, the deaths of such iconic figures as Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin, the nihilistic mayhem at Altamont, and the shadowy figure of Charles Manson cast a darker light on its underlying agenda, one that reminds us that ‘pathological issues.”