Everyday Utopias: The Conceptual Life of Promising Spaces by Davina Cooper

By Davina Cooper

Daily utopias enact traditional actions in strange methods. rather than dreaming a couple of greater international, contributors search to create it. As such, their actions offer bright and stimulating contexts for contemplating the phrases of social existence, of ways we are living jointly and are ruled. Weaving conceptual theorizing including social research, Davina Cooper examines utopian initiatives as probably diversified as a feminist bathhouse, country equality tasks, group buying and selling networks, and a democratic college the place scholars and employees collaborate in governing. She attracts from firsthand observations and interviews with individuals to argue that utopian tasks have the aptitude to revitalize innovative politics in the course of the methods their leading edge practices incite us to reconsider mainstream ideas together with estate, markets, care, contact, and equality. this is often no basic tale of luck, even if, yet in its place a story of the demanding situations recommendations face as they flow among being imagined, actualized, was hoping for, and struggled over. As dreaming drives new practices and practices force new desires, daily utopias display how labor, feeling, moral dilemmas, and infrequently, failure, convey ideas to existence.

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Extra resources for Everyday Utopias: The Conceptual Life of Promising Spaces

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In order to set it into other chains . . 3 What concepts mean, what they can signify, even their form is treated as flexible and evolving. However, their stable, permanent dwelling as ideas rather than as (or as including) material practices remains settled and uncontested. Locating concepts within the realm of thought might seem to make a level of flexibility, creativity, and choice possible as concepts are able to develop freely in an infinite number of differently imagined directions. Conceptual scholarship, however, is usually far more bounded, developing through the historically extended interplay of intellectual engagement and debate.

Rather it offers one visitor’s interpretation, anchored in the stimulation and experience that comes from entering, attending to, and thinking about places and practices beyond one’s own domain, from being conditionally and temporarily welcomed and then leaving. In this way the conceptual lines followed are ones that cross and recross different spaces and practices. They are lines that move between external imaginings (mainstream and dissident), the conceptual imaginings of site participants as these were communicated through texts, speech, and other kinds of conscious enactment, and the ways concepts were practically manifested: how care and property, for instance, were done, as well as talked about.

10 While both utopia and dystopia are seen as mirrors of each other in the sense of deploying polarized images of what could be, as conceptual lines they function somewhat differently. Utopia conventionally depends on stimulating desire and hope in order to inspire and motivate change. Dystopias, by contrast, aim to stimulate action in order to resist or halt what is feared to be emerging. Dystopic narratives assume change, that the world is not a static or stable place but moving toward, indeed in some cases already enacting, its own ruin.

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