The late 1960s saw authority unravel in almost every area of life, from the dinner table to the classroom, to the church, and to the political convention. Many of these social and political disturbances pitted baby boomers against their elders. This generational conflict has been attributed to a variety of factors, including middle-class affluence, progressive child rearing, and the disconnect between the rhetoric and reality of Cold War liberalism. The general revolt against authority played out differently on the basis of race, class, gender, and region. This chapter examines the role of ethnicity in the tension between parents and children during the late twentieth century. It considers how New York City's young Jews embraced the antiliberal New Left, and Irish and Italian Catholics revolted against adult authority. It looks at two student protests, one at Columbia University in 1968 and the other at Fordham University in 1969-1970, to illustrate how ethnicity shaped community responses to rejection of authority.
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