This weekend I have been reading Ian MacDonald’s book and taking down notes. It is quite a slow read and does take me a while to get through and to get my head around some of the concepts, but I am really enjoying it so far. It is also giving me ideas of further research to do.
This book has brought to my attention that the 1960’s were not homogeneous (composed of parts or elements all of the same kind), there were many different trends in different stages of development at the same time and there were a lot of unexpected interactions between them. This helped towards creating much of the decade’s contradictory character which I this I am going to find difficult to pin down.
It has also reminded me that the 60’s were a reaction to the decade before, so I need to look into the 1950’s in order to understand what they were reacting to.
The introduction touches on the attitudes of the decade in terms of sexual ignorance and prejudices, and I know that I would like to look further into how this affected ‘the teenager’. It has been really interesting looking at the political, religious and social side of things in my initial research.
This week I picked up a new book which I think is going to be really useful in getting one solid opinion on my topic: Revolution in the Head, by Ian MacDonald.
I actually picked it up in a shop because it had Ringo Starr and John Lennon’s faces on the front, but after reading the back, realised that this could actually be a good book for my dissertation! It discusses each of The Beatles’ 241 records but also goes back to the heart of what was happening in the era, which is really going to help me.
Since the last lecture, I went to the library and picked up a few books to have a look through:
- Juke Box Britain – Americanisation and youth culture, by Adrian Horn
- Fashion and Celebrity Culture, by Pamela Church Gibson
- 100 Ideas that Changed Fashion, by Harriet Worsley
I know that the latter is not an academic study but got it out anyway because I think it will be useful in getting some background reading and knowledge on the subject.
Although it is daunting, I am really excited to start research for my dissertation.
Out of all of the options I am either considering the 8000-10,000 word thesis or the 6000 word analytical text and artefact (if my chosen subject allows this).
I am really interested in history and sociology, so whatever I end up writing about will definitely be in those fields.
One of my personal interests is 1960’s culture, music and teen idols, especially the Beatles.
When completing my form, I wrote that I would like to write about all of these things.
I want to explore how the ‘teenager’ came about and how celebrities affected fashion for this age group.
To begin, I am planning on going to the library to have a look at what there is on the general areas of celebrity culture, fashion in the 1960’s and ‘the teenager’.
I want to do some background reading in relation to these areas to see who has written what already and I think this will help me to develop an angle.
For the first term of level 5, I attended lectures called ‘Goddesses and Monsters: Glamour and the Grotesque’. I was really pleased to get into this group this term, as I really wanted to do Cath’s topic last year about subcultures and was something that I was really interested in learning more about.
I enjoyed the structure of the lectures and the texts that we were given to read. I’ve never been a squeamish person and loved the lack of a ‘line’ in how far we looked into things.
Although I did like the grotesque side of things, the glamour part was definitely my favourite. I mostly enjoyed looking at a photo of a model or actress for example, and breaking it down into pieces in order to analyse it.
At the end we were asked to write an essay using an image. I chose the photograph below of Greta Garbo. I looked at how the image presented some of the reoccurring aspects of glamorous photography in the 1930’s. I’m also very interested in history so it was a subject which I really enjoyed looking into.