9780230231979

Utopia as Method The Imaginary Reconstitution of Society

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780230231979

  • ISBN10:

    0230231977

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2013-08-22
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
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Summary

In this major new work by one of the leading writers on Utopian Studies, Ruth Levitas argues that a prospective future of ecological and economic crises poses a challenge to the utopian imaginary. To conceive a better world, and alternative future, Utopia as Method does not construe utopia as a goal or blueprint, but as a holistic, reflexive method for developing what those possible futures might be. It begins by treating utopia as the quest for grace, through a hermeneutics that recovers the utopian meaning in our culture, explored through colour and music. Moving from the existential to the social, it draws on H. G. Wells's claim that the creation of utopias is the distinctive and proper method of sociology, and on the tentative reappearance of utopia in contemporary social theory. It proposes a constructive method, the Imaginary Reconstitution of Society. This fusion of explicitly normative social theory and analytic critique rehabilitates utopia as an integral part of sociology, and offers a means of collective engagement in shaping a better tomorrow.

Author Biography

Ruth Levitas is Professor of Sociology at the University of Bristol, founding Chair of the Utopian Studies Society Europe, and Chair of the William Morris Society. Her publications include The Concept of Utopia. In 2012 she received the Lyman Tower Sargent Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Utopian Studies.

Table of Contents

Introduction

PART I
1. From Terror to Grace
2. Riff on Blue
3. Echoes of Elsewhere

PART II
4. Between Sociology and Utopia
5. Utopia Denied
6. Utopia Revised
7. The Return of the Repressed

PART III
8. Utopia as Archaeology
9. Utopia as Ontology
10. Utopia as Architecture

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