HIPPIES OF THE HAIGHT by Sherri Covan

HIPPIES OF THE HAIGHT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Hippie-watching in Haight-Ashbury has long been a favorite recreation of native San Franciscans but Sherri Covan has trapped the gaily plumed flower children, wriggling and squirming, in the iron jaws of the Big Black Sociological Machine and the coded data spewed forth here is a fine example of social science methodology run amok. Inspired (!) by Max Weber's studies of the relationship between capitalism and the Protestant ethic, Covan goes after the ""relationship between beliefs and practices"" of hippiedom, relentlessly pursuing the ideological ramifications of ""doing your own thing"" and aggregating stony-faced distinctions between ""laying on"" and ""giving"" marijuana, ""knowing"" and ""managing"" trouble, ""being social"" and ""just being"" (among the natives the latter is a ""sanctioned category of behavior""). You may also be interested to learn that the structure of hippie time is qualitative, not quantitative, and that having a conversation about something is not a ""structural requirement"" for meaningful verbal activity. The empirical referent here is their practical affairs -- coping and doping with the Straight world -- and there are more variables under investigation than a hippie has beads. We rate it somewhere between a ""hassle"" and a ""real bummer.

Pub Date: Jan. 31st, 1971
Publisher: Dutton -- New Critics Press