Social movements

Apart from activists for civil rights of African Americans, other groups of people who felt marginalized by the American mainstream culture began to raise demands of their own. Mainly, it was the feminist movement that has influenced the culture not only in the U.S.A, but globally. It emerged in the 1960s, a swinging era of ethnic activists, anti-Vietnam protesters and hippies. The image of a typical 1950s housewife has completely changed. With few exceptions, until the feminist movement cried for a reform, women were excluded from the highest paying jobs, earning only a fraction of the wages of their male counterparts. Even more crucial became the call for legality and availability of birth control options like the contraception pill. Eventually, the right to obtain a safe, legal abortion became a new milestone.

Other relevant voices calling for change were coming from the economicaly weak milieu of Latino Americans and Native Americans. By the end of the decade, gay Americans started demanding equality as well and efforts to save the planet from environmental destruction, toxic emissions, deadly pesticides, and fears of nuclear holocaust brought many concerned Americans together in the earth awareness movement. This time green activists went beyond conservation of resources to demand regulation of economic activities that could hurt the nation's environment.