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The ‘Swinging Sixties’ in Britain Essay

The ‘swinging sixties’ was a period of time which introduced that changes of fashion, music and technology. I will judge the three representations on comprehensiveness, objectiveness and accuracy, to find out which has the best interpretation of the 1960s. The best representation is Representation 2 as it has the widest range and the most truthful views on the 1960’s.

The first representation that is going to be addressed is Representation 1. Representation 1 has very limited views on the 1960’s as it is fairly incomplete. The photo captures the positive side of the ‘swinging sixties’ highlighting fashion, affluence and the youth-based phenomenon. It is not a true reflection of the society in the 1960s as the snapshot omits race, legislation and poverty. The representation is very subjective as it deliberately highlights the stereotypical views of the era and its portrayed in a positive way. The aim of the representation was to inform and educate people through a slightly balanced snapshot of Carnaby Street – the heart of swinging London although it implies only a positive and stereotypical view of the period.

The accuracy of this representation is only accurate for what it shows, as it is a snapshot of one area in London which from my own knowledge was one of the few places that was actually swinging across the country. With the representation showing views on fashion, technology, wealth and stereotypes, it is fairly accurate but still omits a lot of vital detail which also takes a large part in the whole swinging sixties image. Overall, representation 1 is accurate for what it shows but compared to the other two representations it has the worst interpretation of the swinging sixties.

The next representation that is being addressed is Representation 3. There is a wider range of comprehensiveness compared to Representation 1. It covers a wide range of topics, including the pill, homosexuality, the women’s movement, technology and fashion. It also omits important features of the 1960s, such as music, poverty, immigration and key social groups like hippies and rockers. Overall, representation 3 is quite complete as it covers a large range of key topics. The representation gives a fair and balanced view of the 1960’s, because it talks about Mary Quant and Barbara Hulanicki being the main fashion icons and creating the new fashion trends,
it also discusses issues such as abortion being legalised and homosexuality being decriminalised. The representation is objective to quite a large extent because it gives neither a positive or negative view on the ‘swinging sixties’. Finally looking at the accuracy, the representation is very truthful and backs up all my own knowledge of the 1960s, such as youth culture ‘the miniskirt was the most eye-catching garment of the decade’ and also talks about ‘swinging London’ which is correct because London was one of the only places across the country that had the swinging vibe. The representation overall is very accurate because I can not find anything for it to challenge my own knowledge.

Finally, representation 2 is to be addressed, it is the best representation of the 1960’s because it clearly talks about all the key topics with impartial and fair views. It is relatively complete as is has a view on everything from the 1960’s such as advertisement and the magazine industry, affluence, technology (motor cars and jets), fashion and it wasn’t just centred in London but was also in the Midlands and the North. It doesn’t omit any major key topics of the swinging sixties but it does question ‘Swinging London?’ This tells us that not everyone in the 1960’s believed that London was swinging because it shows many different attitudes and opinions towards the 60’s, ‘to some, the ‘swinging sixties’ was constructive and beneficial; to others, it was a hollow sham, a time of frivolity’. Representation 3 is very comprehensive and fairly objective since it contains several different viewpoints and explains them in great detail.

This representation is very accurate, it clearly shows that it wasn’t just London that swung but also areas such as Chelsea and Knightsbridge had caught on to the swinging vibe. It was also published by a well known author Brian Masters, who would have had to have accurate information and facts to include in his book ‘The Swinging Sixties’ published in 1985. This representation is the best one out of the three as it shows two different sides of how beneficial this era was and also has the broadest range of the key topics from the 60’s, whereas on the other hand representation 1 and 3 focus on either one viewpoint or doesn’t mention everything about the 1960’s.

In conclusion, representation 3 portrays the ‘swinging sixties’ the best as
it covers the widest range of points, supports all of my own knowledge, has balanced views of the 1960’s and it is also the most objective, compared to representation 1 or 3.


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