Yablonsky, L. 1968. The Hippie Trip.

Yablonsky, Lewis. 1968. The Hippie Trip. New York: Pegasus.

Preface with locating self in research – however, cannot be a “neutral researcher.”

Severyn T. Bruyn (1966): “Thus, we may observe at the outset that while the traditional role of the scientists is that of a neutral observer who remains unmoved, unchanged, and untouched in his examination of the phenomena, the role of the participant observer requires sharing the sentiments of people in social situations; as a consequence he himself is changed as well as changing to some degree the situation in which he is a participant. […] In participant observation the effects are reciprocal for the observer and observed. The participant observer seeks, on one hand, to take advantage of the change due to his presence in the group by recording these changes as part of his study and, on the other hand, to reduce the changes to a minimum by the manner in which he enters into the life of the group” (here x).

Conducted interviews “in situ” – in live situations (discussions that took place in natural settings).

Fear of “drop out” movement impacting future generation of lawyers, professionals, doctors — (kx^ but nowadays, these identities can be integrated through festival participation – a miniature drop-out, with return to ‘normal’ life.)

A representative sample of hippies: “Flute players in robes. Micro-minied girls in boots, without bras, obviously aware of a kind of sexual attractiveness, swing down the street. There are consciously dirty teenagers and underfed youths who come from upper-middle-class families. Some seem to be beating their parents up obliquely by literally starving and begging. On the same scene are wiser, older “heads” – erudite philosophers of the movement” (29).

Typologizing the Hippie:

  • The High Priest (29): use of drugs to philosophize, gain and spread greater insight and wisdom. Shamanic quality, leader-like.
  • The Novitiate (31): drop-outs, followers of the aforementioned priests, marked with self-doubt, paranoia about his launch into subculture.
  • “The Plastic Hippies” (33): four subtypes – drug addicts, teenyboppers, emotionally disturbed using hippiedom as retreat, and miscellaneous others.
    1. Interesting note on teenyboppers – “They are essentially teenagers who ‘make the scene’, very often in the most ‘far out’ clothes. They have an enormous involvement with the new music; and with the allowance granted by indulgent middle-class parents, they by the records that keep the industry spinning. They use the drugs on the scene, not for spiritual purposes, but admittedly for fun and kicks. They are the flower children of the overall hippie movement. Their concept of love, however, tends to be very slender or irresponsible. Most teenyboppers are part-time, weekend, or summer hippies. Their superficial first involvement as a so-called teenybopper may, however, given time, circumstances, and drugs, project them into the world of the hippie – drug addict, novitiate, or high priest. They are the raw recruits for the upper world of the new community” (34).

Speculates a membership over about 200,000 “core visible and identifiable total hippie dropouts” in the U.S. (36 – kx^ LAWLS!)

  • Does not account for the “several hundred thousand invisible ‘Clark Kent’ hippies. These are students, young executives, and professional people who use psychedelic drugs, interact, and closely associate with totally dropped-out hippies, yet maintain nine-to-five jobs or student status” (36) – may lead into total drop-out status. Also, does not mark hippie sympathizers – those who lend money, rentals, resources to hippies and their kin.

Comments on the “reconstruction” of civilization, by use of the tools that modern civilization offers – plastic bowls, industrially-made clothing – exposing the hypocrisy of some drop-out mentalities (kx^ masters’ tools allegory?)

Gridley – (“guide”) – compares communes to refugee camps – not of physical oppression, but psychical oppression.


Bruyn, Severyn T. 1966. The Human Perspective in Sociology: The Methodology of Participant Observation. Prentice-Hall.


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