Middlebury
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FYSE1392

Sociology & Utopia

Perfect? Utopias, Dystopias, and the Sociological Imaginary
Don’t mess with perfection: the promise, as well as the trap, of utopian visions. Utopian literature criticizes existing worlds, offering plans for a better society, and better people to stock it. Since one person’s utopia can be another’s dystopia, this “good society” often intensifies tensions it promises to resolve. From Plato’s Republic to Marx’s Communist Manifesto, we will study utopias and dystopias as theories of society and as expressions of sociological perspectives. We will use sociology to explore the possibilities and limits of utopian thinking, and then turn the tables and use utopias to rethink the uses of sociology. 3 hrs. sem.
Subject:
First Year Seminar
Department:
First-Year Seminar Program
Division:
Interdisciplinary
Requirements Fulfilled:
CW NOR SOC

Sections

Spring 2013

FYSE1392A-S13 Seminar (Owens)