Well I asked a question a day ago: Why is has the US not "followed through" with secularisation after the hippie movement?

As one can see in the question and answers I have to "defend"/ask for extra information a lot when handling the question. Where a lot of attention goes to the fact if it's a good question or not.

This is actually what made me spawn the question in the first place. The topic I hit upon in the question is considered "normal" in the Netherlands, and we consider those things to always go "hand in hand". So the whole questioning of that question in itself is something I am startled by. (And with that, also the question comes, why is this not talked about in the US).

When looking at the answers they seem to "evade" the actual question: "why is there such a difference between the US and Europe in the follow up on the counter-culture from the 60s", and instead the answers focus on the US as a singular entity without the interaction with the rest of the world. "Only a few", "it was never even a thing" - While the same arguments could be said for Europe so that cannot be a reason.

So how would I salvage that question, without going into a debate with the answerers. So that focus is on what created the difference between Western Europe and the US. Especially since Western Europe in the early days after the second world war actively tried to mimic the US, thus logic dictates that the culture would grow closer together.

Bottomline: How to improve the question so that it doesn't turn into a discussion but rather an overview of what caused the effects in politics.

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    Based on your question and comments, I think you're asking for too simple an answer for too complex a problem. There are many factors that make the US and Europe different, and your question seems to have some odd (at least to me) assumptions, like the US hippie movement being the driving factor behind secularization in Europe. Those sorts of assumptions are going to attract (appropriately) challenges. – Bryan Krause Feb 15 at 16:17
  • "so that cannot be a reason." This is not true. It may be that both in the US and in Europe that hippies had nothing to do with secularization. Historians in Europe making that claim may simply be wrong. – Brythan Feb 16 at 1:00

I suspect that if someone looks, they will find that the US was more religious than Europe both before and after the 60s. And both the US and Europe saw increasing secularization. I.e. I suspect that your thesis is wrong. Perhaps you should research that before you ask why it is true.

As is you make a couple claims:

  • Hippies caused secularization in Europe.
  • Secularization only increased in Europe.

And then you ask a question, assuming that these are true. I would recommend that you either

  • Do some research on this and include it in your question.
  • Or start by asking if one of these is true. I would start with the second, as it is more objective.

Your insight into the problem and conceptualisations about this question on main are a far cry from what you write here on meta. This meta question is on a whole different level than what a quick reading of the mainQ suggests. Raise the main question to what we can read here, and it's a totally different game.

The problem on main is that you equate a global wave of historical changes and trends with "hippies". That is so much an oversimplification to make it easy to refute this as 'not true'. Then the term itself seems to be a trigger for some I won't describe in more detail. A "somewhat counter cultural" trend or effect during the sixties, or just "changes", might be a better fit. Now I think I see what you mean, but 'hippies' was a distraction for me as well.

On main you respond in comments. Which are indeed helpful to understand the question better, but they are not in the main question. The question should be able to stand alone, as comments can be easily deleted and often people do not read these. At all.

Further, on first reading this looks almost like context-free, random ramblings, just jotted down, purpose: "amIright,guys?" I guess that unfortunate reading might be rendered impossible if you keep the real focus, in the style and on the level like here on meta, but add some pertinent results of your own prior research into the problem domain.

As this is about the effect of the happenings ( ;)) of/in the 60s, you might also want to emphasise a little more why the question was asked on politics and not on history.

For a well formed starting point you might have o revisit "focus is on what created the difference between Western Europe and the US" by providing either a reference that says so, or by giving your own definition for what you mean by that. That is: how were the US and Europe 'the same'/similar before and how much do they seem to differ now. You see something as the same starting point and the same direction for development but wonder that the end result is not the same.

If indeed 'the hippies' is a broad/neutral synonym/shorthand in the Netherlands/Dutch for fundamental changes during the 60s, but not in (select) English speaking countries, you might update your question with these new insights.

As long as your edits are refinements, they should be fine as well. Try not to invalidate existing answers. But that may happen anyway. Just do not self-answer within the question. If your new insights would result in that -> write your own answer.

In short: reduce the 'hippie' aspect, draw parallels in trends, particularly in societal secularisation in the 60s and present an observation of current conditions. Forget the call for "objectivity". That is an unreachable illusion. Just try to make your reasoning, however good or faulty, transparent. Let the readers think along. Do not present 'facts', unless you reference them.

That will still be q bit broad. But I'd like to see the result of these inquiries.

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