Counterculture (n.) - Who is it?
A group of people with a set of ideas and behaviors that set themselves against an idea, or group with more social power.
History & Etymology
Last time when I covered the origin of the word of culture I discussed its relation to agriculture and religion. So this time let’s take look at the prefix at the beginning of counterculture, counter-
It originally came from Latin contra- meaning against or in opposition. In English its modern form counter- has become a common prefix indicating when one thing is opposed to or balancing another. Like counterbalance, counterintuitive, and counterinsurgency.
In the late 60s and early 70s people began noticing certain segments of society in the United States and England began... not fit in.
The word counterculture was popularized by Theodore Roszak in his book “The Making of a Counter Culture”. In the book he describes the growth of Vietnam War protesters and the hippy movement, and compares the similarity between the two groups and their rejection of what he called technocracy, a system of government where decision-makers are selected for their expertise. I’ve never read his book so I can’t make any judgement on it’s accuracy, but it seems to be the unanimous origin of the popularity of the word counterculture.