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Unit 2 Overview

The Cold War and Vietnam: The Rise of Conservatism and the New Left

Often, when people think of the 1960s, the first things that come to mind are the war in Vietnam and the Cold War. These episodes in American history coincided with the apex of the civil rights movement and the rise of media to bring us ‘live’ war coverage. Further, it invited the voices of Americans to join together like never before. In this unit, you will consider how the wars influenced current mental health diagnosis, the music of the 1960s, and the thoughts of those who lived through and live with the Vietnam War and Cold War. Political science, social psychology, and psychology are the foundational disciplines of your learning in this unit

Reading 1: Harrison & Dye – pp. 66-78

Reading 2: Farber – Chapters 6 and 7

Unit Outcomes

· Apply psychological concepts to a case study

· Judge the implications of the Vietnam War on life in the 21st Century

· Apply sociological and political science concepts to power structures

Course Outcomes practiced in this unit

SS310-2: Apply key terms and concepts from the social sciences to an era’s primary issues

· View Timeline

· Complete Assigned Reading

· Review Key Concepts and Terms

· Review Web Resources

· Post to Discussion Board
40 points

· Attend Seminar

Complete the Assignment
120 points

1 Kaplan University College of Arts and Sciences SS310 Exploring the 1960s COURSE #

Unit 2 Key Terms

Authority - power that is exercised legitimately

Communism - A system of government in which the state plans and controls the economy and a single, often authoritarian party holds power, claiming to make progress toward a higher social order in which all goods are equally shared by the people.

Democratic socialism - replacing capitalism through democratic processes

Economic determinism - the nature of the economy determines the social structure

Elite and masses - the few who have power and the many who do not

Equality of opportunity but not absolute equality - the idea that individuals must not be confronted with artificial barriers to advancement, but that inequalities may arise from differences in individual initiative, talent, skill, merit, and hard work

Fascism - an ideology that asserts the supremacy of the nation or race over the individual

Idealism - a perspective in anthropology that focuses on the importance of ideas in determining culture

Ideology - an integrated system of ideas or beliefs that rationalizes and justifies the exercise of power, influencing how power is exercised

Inalienable rights - rights not granted by government but belonging to individuals by virtue of their natural human condition

Laissez-faire -“hands off,” or a limited role of the government in economic activity

Legitimacy - belief that the exercise of power is right and proper

Limited government - the idea that government cannot violate the rights that it was established to protect; government power over the individual is limited

Modern liberalism - governmental power is seen as a positive force in protecting the individual

Multiculturalism - acknowledging, protecting, and promoting multiple cultures and subcultures 2 Kaplan University College of Arts and Sciences SS310 Exploring the 1960s COURSE #

Nation - a society that sees itself as one people with a common culture, history, institutions, ideology, language, and territory

Nationalization - government seizure of industries from private owners

Natural law - the law that governs human conduct and grants individual rights; it exists before government or constitutions

Political system - the organization and distribution of power in society

Power - the capacity to affect the conduct of others through the real or threatened use of rewards and punishments

Rational-legal authority - legitimacy conferred by rules that are agreed on by both leaders and followers

Social contract - the idea that government arises from an implied contract among people as a means of protecting their rights

Socialism – an economic system characterized by public ownership of the means of production, the pursuit of collective goals, and centralized decision making.

State - a permanent, centralized organization with a defined territory and recognized authority to make and enforce rules

Totalitarianism - all sectors of a society - education, labor, art, science for example - are incorporated in the state and serve the purposes of the state

1 Kaplan University College of Arts and Sciences SS310 Exploring the 1960s COURSE #

Unit 2 Key Concepts

Types of Governments

Social Scientists use analyses of political institutions to develop typologies of political regimes. One such typology, which is widely used, was developed by J. Denis and Ian Derbyshire (1996). They classify national regimes into these categories:

Liberal Democracies
. These regimes are marked by multiparty elections, competitive parties, separation of powers, and guarantees of the rights of minorities and individuals. Examples are the United States, Canada, Great Britain, France, Brazil and Japan.

Emergent Democracies. These have constitutions that specify all or most of the institutions and processes of fully establishing democratic processes caused by one-party dominance, insurgencies, corruption, and so forth. They are often viewed as “liberal democracies on trial.” Examples are Chile, Ivory Coast, Mali, Haiti, Morocco, Tunisia, and the Philippines.

Communist regimes. These are run by a “revolutionary dictatorship” and a single communist party that in principle is serving the interests of the working class. There are very limited guarantees of individual or minority rights. Political command over economic institutions is widespread but subject to market experimentation. China, North Korea, and Cuba are examples of existing communist regimes.

Nationalistic socialist regimes. These are similar to communist regimes, with a single socialist party; however, they are more inclined to promote the interests of one national group over others and to allow private commerce. There is little or no protection of individual or minority rights. Examples are Iraq, Libya, Tanzania, and Syria.

Authoritarian nationalist regimes. The extreme nationalism of these regimes leads to intolerance and the exclusion of other races and creeds, often in the most brutal or genocidal fashion as in Nazi Germany or contemporary Zimbabwe.

6. Military regimes. These are ruled by a military elite or junta, usually with extremely limited protection of citizens’ rights and no free elections. Current examples are Sierra Leone, Sudan, and Myanmar, although many emergent democracies and liberal democracies are plagued by problems of civilian control over the military.

Islamic nationalist regime. These are ruled by nationalistic political regimes devoted to fundamentalist Islam. Afghanistan under the Taliban and Iran are examples of this type of regime.2 Kaplan University College of Arts and Sciences SS310 Exploring the 1960s COURSE #

8. Absolute regimes. These are usually ruled by an absolute monarch who passes power to successors through a hereditary line. Constitutional forms of government, popular assemblies, judiciary rules that counter the executive power, and political parties are banned. Sultanates, emirates, and traditional monarchies such as Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Swaziland are examples of this type of regime.


In this seminar, we will be discussing the terms “ethnocentrism” and “cultural relativity” from Unit 1. Please familiarize yourself with these terms and be prepared to discuss the following:

How has our ideology (United States) and world view influenced our relations and actions with other nations?

How has the media influenced our understanding, both positively and negatively, of other cultures? Be prepared to give specific examples.

Although seminar in this course is not graded, it is highly beneficial for you to participate. In seminar, your instructor will go into the concepts and assignments in more detail and answer questions that you may have. You will also benefit from the interaction with your classmates.

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