Alternative Culture in the US & it's Effects

The United States sets the stage for popular culture around the world. There have been so many different events, people, music, films, and books that have shaped our world over the last few decades, that it’s sometimes difficult to decide what has had more of an impact. Alternative culture is often used to describe the people, places and things that are a little bit different, or something that not everyone knows about. This type of culture creates a loyal following of people who really, truly believe in its impact and influence. Here are a few hallmarks in alternative culture that have had an effect on today’s generation, and will affect generations to come.

The Aids Quilt

AIDS has been a serious concern for Americans and people across the world for a long time. Millions of people have succumbed to this autoimmune disease, including young children. In 1987, a project was started by a group of volunteers to create a large quilt representing the many AIDS victims who have passed away. This quilt became one of the largest projects of its kind, and was put on display on the National Mall in Washington, DC in 1996. You can find more information about it by looking at the following resources:

The Main Website

A Personal Account

The Quilt at the Mall

Photos of how Panels are Made

Alternative Medicine

Herbal treatments, teas, and natural therapies have been used for centuries, but it hasn’t been until the last decade or two that Americans have really begun to look into alternative treatments for everything from the common cold to cancer. Aside from vitamins and herbs, acupuncture, aromatherapy, and reiki have become widespread. This cultural shift in medicine is giving the big pharmacy companies a run for their money, and it’s changing the way we look at how the body heals or prevents disease. Here are some helpful resources on alternative medicine:


Natural Solutions Magazine

Dr. Weil

The Alternative Medicine Foundation

70’s Fashion

In the 1980s, people had big hair, mullets, and huge sunglasses. Eventually, the trends of the 80s faded away, and in the 1990s the fashion of the 70s became popular again. Gaudy jewelry, bellbottoms, and tie-dye started to take off again in huge numbers. Even today, 70s fashion is prevalent and will probably have a big impact on haute couture for many more years to come. Here are some links on 70s fashion and fun:

The 1970s Fashion Era

70s Clothes

Buy Vintage Clothing

All Things 70s

Tupac Shakur

Rap music really took off in popularity during the 1990s, and no one had a hold on the fans quite like rap star Tupac Shakur. He was well-known and respected among his peers, but on one fateful night in 1996, the world of rap music would be changed forever. Tupac Shakur was shot on September 7th, 1996 in Las Vegas and died 7 days later. His murder was a large source of controversy within the rap community, and it also seemed to make Tupac a bigger star than he had been while he was alive.

The Legacy of Tupac

Tupac Fan Site

Your Tupac Resource

The Tupac Shakur Foundation


Many people believe that feminism started in the United States when women were fighting for their right to vote. But even though women have been granted that right, there have been plenty of other issues that affect them, inspiring them to fight the system. Whether it's abortion rights, relationship and dating equality, or the way women are portrayed in the media, feminism is still alive and well.

Site on Feminism and Women’s Studies

Article about feminism

Topics in Feminism

Famous Feminists

The Simpsons

Perhaps no other cartoon on television has had more cultural influence than The Simpsons. The cartoon was first introduce on the Tracy Ullman show as a short cartoon feature, until its creator, Matt Groening, signed a deal to broadcast the show every week in 30 minute increments. Since then, Bart, Homer, Lisa, and Maggie have captured the hearts of millions of people all around the world. Today, The Simpsons still thrives and is known as the longest running and highest grossing prime time cartoon on television.

The Simpsons Home Page

Simpsons Archive

Photo Gallery

Episode Guide

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