Masters Thesis

Mothers, goddesses, and hippies: counterculture women in the American West (1967-1977)

The author's research began with these questions: How far away from social norms did the hippies go regarding gender roles? Were women ever freed from these expectations? What did family life on the communes look like? This research argues that counterculture women were practicing gender equality through social and economic means resulting from communal living. Mainstream society had regulated gender roles to the public sphere and the domestic sphere. Communes represented a third sphere, a new experimental ground safe from mainstream criticisms and economic pressures. This thesis explores everyday women's lives in the counterculture and the complex roles they created within these new societies. This form of inquiry will help fill the historiographical void that revolves around hippie women living on communes.