Among the infinite number of perspectives on utopia, there is one concerning the unlimited power of youth to fight for liberties and social change and win in such fights. This perspective was presented by Salemink et al. (2018), who claim that the increase of youth on a global scale implies the potential of this population to change their challenges of entering adulthood.
In particular, youth “cultivate subjectivities that are oriented towards and enacting Utopian futures – even if their subjectivities and their Utopian imaginations are firmly grounded in present conditions” (Salemink et al., 2018, p. 126). Utopia, in this regard, is the successful pursuit of social agenda on a governmental level with the ultimate change of social reality.
Another perspective on utopia is delivered within the context of ecological concerns. In particular, ecovillages stem “from the spontaneous aggregation of people who share the principles of sustainability and who believe in their application at every level of daily life” (Bertera, 2020, para. 5). This perspective on utopia entails that people live as extended family communities, in agreement with each other and nature, while prioritizing communal values of unity, development, and prosperity for the sake of the community. Such an approach is significantly tied to sustainability issues, which allows for building long-term associations without damaging the environment.
Both these perspectives on utopia share the same level of belief of the authors in the continuity of human existence. They both emphasize the power of people to satisfy their needs for the benefit of future generations. However, these beliefs are based on different premises and philosophies. In particular, the first perspective sets youth as a dominant force in achieving the utopian society’s goals. In contrast, the second perspective recognizes the contribution of the whole community to the achievement of the desired social order.
Moreover, the first perspective considers social concerns of entering adulthood most relevant; the satisfaction of socialization needs is anticipated to lead to happiness. On the contrary, the ecovillages perspective envisions utopian happiness in the achievement of unity with nature, which will contribute to the human race’s longevity and harmonious existence.
Bertera, A. (2020). How an Ecovillage works, between utopia and reality. Web.
Salemink, O., Bregnbæk, S., & Hirslund, D. V. (2018). Introduction: Youth, subjectivity, and Utopia – ethnographic perspectives from the Global South. Identities, 25(2), 125-139.