Date of Completion

2015

Document Type

Honors College Thesis

Department

History

Type of Thesis

Honors College, College of Arts and Science Honors

First Advisor

Nicole Phelps

Keywords

The Doors, Jim Morrison, Acid Rock, American Media, Youth Protest, Vietnam War

Abstract

Throughout the course of American history, there have been several prominent social and political revolutions carried out by citizens dissatisfied with the existing American institutions run by the government and its civil servants. Of these revolutions, Vietnam War and civil rights protest among youth in the 1960s was of the most influential, shaping American society in the decades to come. Of the many musical talents that participated in and encouraged such protests against US government foreign and domestic policies, one of the most unique was the rock band The Doors. Like many musicians in the 1960s, The Doors stressed the need for change in government policies and the social values they upheld, but they did so in a way that was very unlike other popular acts: through a newfound brand of music labeled acid rock—due to its connection with hallucinogenic drugs—serving as role models to protesting youth. Because they were so unique, The Doors were frequently covered by a wide variety of popular American media sources that never failed to mention Jim Morrison, the band’s lead singer, as the face of the group that was a powerful representation of the anti-establishment, free-spirited, drug-using youth of 1960s America. My analysis of American media attention to The Doors reveals why and how Jim Morrison and his group personified the cultural changes of their era and played an important role in inspiring social and political change among America’s youth, most notoriously through their live performances.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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