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AlternativeSocieties

ThirdyearsociologyoptionL4090A

UniversityofSussexAutumn2017

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alternativesocietynounasocietyorsocialgroupthatespousesvaluesdifferentfromthoseoftheestablishedsocialorder.alternativesocietynounAsectionofasocietyinwhichpeopleadoptalifestyledifferentfromthemainstream,perceivedasbeingunconventional,lessmaterialistic,andoftenmorenatural.Sociologistshaveoftenanalysedandcriticisedtheworld.Theaimofthismoduleistolookatalternativesocietiesthattheirassessmentsandcriticismsimply.Wewilllookatutopianism,whatitinvolvesandwhatstateitisintoday.Wewilldiscussalternativeslikecommunism,co-ops,andparticipatoryeconomiesaswellasalternativestypesoflivingincommunesorintentionalcommunities.Wewillexaminealternativesinphenomenalikeurbansocialcentresandfreeganismorskipdivingandfoodcounter-cultures.Wewilldiscusswhatanalternativesocietythatisgreenwouldhavetolooklikeandhowwecouldhaveasocietywhereweallworkalotless.Wewilldiscussthebenefitsorotherwiseandpossibilitiesofaworldsocietywithnoborderswhichrestrictourmovement.Wewilldiscusswhatalternativekindsofeducationcouldlooklikeandhowsocietyandourlivescouldbeslower.Topics1.Utopianism2.Communism3.Participatoryeconomiesandco-ops4.Countercultureinahippycommune5.Socialcentres,freeganismandfoodcounter-culture6.Readingweek7.Greensociety8.Societybeyondpaidwork9.Globalsocietywithoutborders10.Alternativeeducation11.Theslowsociety12.AlternativePoliticsLecturesandseminarsTherewillbealectureeveryweekfollowedbyatwo-hourseminaranotherdayintheweek.Theseminarswillbeorganisedaroundthemesfromthereadingforeachweeksoitsimportanttodothereading.Youcanusetheoutlineandquestionsforeachtopictoguideyourreading.IfyouhavetroublegettingawordininseminarsputyourhandupandIllmakesureyoucanspeak.Ifanythingyouwanttodiscussdoesntcomeupfeelfreetobringitup.Reading

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Thereisntastudypackasalotofreadingsareavailableonlineand/oronStudyDirect(SyD).ThereisalotofstuffonSyD,includingthingsthatareextratothereadinginthishandbook.ImayupdateSyDthroughoutthemodule,sodocheckthateveryweek.Mainreadingwillbestarredeachweek.ThisiswhatIamrecommendingyouread.Ifyoudratherreadsomethingelseinanyweeksthatsfine.MainlyforanyV&Estudents,youdon'thavetodoallthereadingeachweek!Focusonthemainreadingandtherestisforessaywritingorincaseyouwanttogobeyondthemainreading.Theoccasionalreadingwillbeonorderforthelibrarybuthopefullywillbeinstockbythetimeyouwriteyouressays.Thereisntageneralbookforthismodulebutthefollowingareusefulasgeneralandbackgroundreading:M.Parkeretaleds,TheDictionaryofAlternatives,2007isgoodasanintroductiontorelevantideasMattDawson,SocialTheoryforAlternativeSocieties,2016,looksathowsociologicaltheoristshavediscussedalternativesocietiesM.Parkeretaleds,TheRoutledgeCompaniontoAlternativeOrganisation,2013.AssessmentTheassessmentisanessayintheformofa1000wordconceptnotetobesubmittedintheautumntermanda5000wordessay.FordatesandtimesseeSussexDirect.Yourewelcometodiscussessayideaswithmeanytimeduringtheterm.Youcanuseatitlefromthelistofessaytitlesormakeoneupyourselfaslongasyourunitbymefirst.SeetheessayadvicesectiononStudyDirect,includingadviceontheconceptnote.AssessmentcriteriaandguidelinesarepostedonSyDandattheendofthishandbook.Makesureyouknowwhatplagiarismandcollusionareandthatyouavoiddoingthem.SeemoreinformationonmisconductattheendofthehandbookandonSyD.Wetrytogivemarksandfeedbackonessaysnormallywithin3weeks(excludingnational/bankholidaysanduniversityclosuredays).(Avarietyofassessmentmodesareusedtodevelopandtestdifferenttypesofknowledge,skillsandaptitudes.Theassessmentmodeshavebeenapprovedtotestthecourseandmodulelearningoutcomes.Writtensubmissionsusuallyformpartoftheassessmentatalllevels.Writtensubmissionsincludeessays,reports,logsetcasappropriatetothemoduleandtheskillsthatyouarebeingexpectedtodevelop.Feedbackisprovidedtosupportyouinfutureassessments).PleasenotethefollowingparagraphfromtheAssessmentandExaminationshandbookforstudents,pertainingtowordlength.Asadepartmentwedonotwanttodeductmarksforworkjustoverthelimit,buttheremaybetimeswhenevenlessthan10%overthestatedlimitdoesgiveanadvantageandwemayinvokethisrule.Wethereforestronglysuggestthatyoukeepwithinthewordlimitset.Yourreferencesinthebibliographydonotcounttowardsyouroverallwordcount.1.Failuretoobservelimitsoflength

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Themaximumlengthforeachassessmentispublicisedtostudents.Thelimitsasstatedincludequotationsinthetext,butdonotincludethebibliography,footnotes/endnotes,appendices,abstracts,maps,illustrations,transcriptionsoflinguisticdata,ortabulationsofnumericalorlinguisticdataandtheircaptions.Anyexcessinlengthshouldnotconferanadvantageoverotherstudentswhohaveadheredtotheguidance.Studentsarerequestedtostatethewordcountonsubmission.Whereastudenthasmarginally(within10%)exceededthewordlengththeMarkershouldpenalisetheworkwherethestudentwouldgainanunfairadvantagebyexceedingthewordlimit.Inexcessivecases(>10%)theMarkerneedonlyconsiderworkuptothedesignatedwordcount,anddiscountanyexcessivewordlengthbeyondthattoensureequityacrossthecohort.Whereanassessmentissubmittedandfallssignificantlyshort(>10%)ofthewordlength,theMarkermustconsiderinassigningamark,iftheargumenthasbeensufficientlydevelopedandissufficientlysupportedandnotassignthefullmarksallocationwherethisisnotthecase.ContactThetutorandmoduleconvenorisLukeMartell.Myemailaddressisl.martell@sussex.ac.ukandmyofficeisFreemanG50.Myofficehourwillbepostedonmywebprofile,oryourewelcometodropmeanemailtofixupatimetomeet.Impart-timeandworkMondays,WednesdaysandFridays.IshareanofficesoitsworthcomingtomyofficehoursormakinganappointmentforothertimessoIcanfindaroomforustogoto.Illsendyouanyinformationaboutchangestoclasses,etcbyemail.It'sgenerallyworthcheckingyouremaileveryday.FeedbackYoucangetfeedbackonessayideasoranythingyou'reunclearaboutbymeetingupwithmeorraisingitattheclasses.Youcangetwrittencommentsandseemeformorefeedbackonyouressaysafterthey'vebeenmarked.Wellhaveashortmid-termfeedbacksessionsoyoucansuggesthowtochangethings.Youcanfillinanevaluationquestionnaireonyourmodulesafterthemodulehasendedtogiveusfeedback.Ireallyappreciateitifyoudothisasithelpsmetoimprovethemoduleforfutureyears.Anyfeedbackandsuggestionsarewelcomeatanytime!1.UtopianismSociology(andalotofothersocialscience)hasbeenadescriptive,analytical,andcriticaldisciplineaboutwhatsocietyislike.Inthistopicwe'llbelookingattheideaofthinkingaboutwhatsocietyshouldbelike-ieprescriptiveandnormativequestions.We'lldothisthroughlookingattheidea(andexamples)ofutopia,ofidealsocieties.Utopiasarethingsthathavefeaturedinbothfictionandliteratureandalsosocialscienceandactualpracticalattempts.Manypartsoftherestofthemodulewillcovertypesofutopianism.-whatdoes'utopian'mean?whatisautopia?-whatareexamplesofutopias?whatgenres/typesofutopianismarethere?-howdoutopiasrelatetoplaceandtime?-cantherebeutopiasinthepresentday?

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-whatarethefunctionsofutopias?-whatcriticismsarethereofutopias?-areutopiasunrealisticorcantheybeviable?-howdoyougettoautopia?-whatdoesalibertarianutopialooklikeandwhatperspectivesbringthisup?-whatdoesafeministutopialooklike?-whatkindofnon-racistutopiasarethere?-whathasbeentherelationshipbetweencolonisationandutopias?-whatkindofutopiasaretherebeyondthewest?-wheredoesbiology/sciencefitintoutopias?-isitappropriateforsociologytoaskwhatoughttobeaswellaswhatis?-areutopiasdead?Ifso,why?Ifnot,whatutopiasaretherenow?-isutopianismdangerous?-whatisadystopia?Wewonthavetimeeveryweektodiscussallthequestionslistedinthehandbook,butusethequestionstoguideyourreadingandthinkingabouttheseminarandtopic.Iftheresanythingthatdoesntcomeupthatyoudliketodiscussdobringitup.*R.Levitas,Introduction:TheElusiveIdeaofUtopia,HistoryoftheHumanSciences,16,1,2003,discussesthedifferentguisesthatutopiacomesin.*K.Kumar,TheEndsofUtopia,NewLiteraryHistory,41,3,2010,talksaboutkindsofutopiasinpessimisticmode.Thesearerecommendedmainreadingsbutfeelfreeinanyweekstochooseotherthingstoread.R.Levitas,TheImaginaryReconstitutionofSociety:whysociologistsandothersshouldtakeutopianismmoreseriously,2005lecture,surveysanumberofutopiawritersandthemesK.Kumar,Utopianism,1991K.Kumar,UtopiaandAnti-utopiainModernTimes,1987R.Levitas,TheConceptofUtopia,1990,discussessociologicaltheoriesofutopiaL.T.Sargent,Utopianism:aVeryShortIntroduction,2010,includesdiscussionofnon-westernandpost-colonialutopianism,andhasafurtherreadingsection.R.Levitas,SociologyandUtopia,Sociology,13,1979,discussesdifferentdefinitionsofutopiaandhowtheyvarybysocialcontextL.T.Sargent,TheThreeFacesofUtopianismRevisited,UtopianStudies,5,1,1994UtopianStudies,ingeneralthisisausefuljournalLucySargisson,FoolsGold:Utopianisminthe21stCentury,2012LucySargisson,ContemporaryFeministUtopianism1996.AlsoherUtopianBodiesandthePoliticsofTransgression,2000.Z.Bauman,UtopiawithnoTopos,HistoryoftheHumanSciences,16,1,2003ZhangLongxi,TheUtopianVision,EastandWest,UtopianStudies,13,1,2002BarbaraGoodwin,ed,ThePhilosophyofUtopia,2001B.GoodwinandK.Taylor,ThePoliticsofUtopia,1982HebertMarcuse,TheEndofUtopia,inMarcuse,Fivelectures,1970ColinWard,Utopia,1974JayWinter,DreamsofPeaceandFreedom:UtopianMomentsinthe20thcentury,2006M.Parkeretaleds,TheDictionaryofAlternatives:UtopianismandOrganization,2007JamesMorrisandAndreaKross,TheAtoZofUtopianism,2009

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MattDawson,SocialTheoryforAlternativeSocieties,especiallych10onsociologyandutopiaandchs4and7onfeministandanti-racistutopias.G.Claeys,ed.TheCambridgeCompaniontoUtopianLiterature,2010DavinaCooper,EverydayUtopias:TheConceptualLifeofPromisingSpaces,2014AngelikaBammer,PartialVisions:Feminismandutopianisminthe1970s,1991PhilipeCoutonandJ.L.Lopez,MovementasUtopia,HistoryoftheHumanSciences,22,4,2009SusanBuck-Morss,DreamWorldandCatastrophe:thepassingofmassutopiasinEastandWest,2002FandF.Manuel,UtopianThoughtintheWesternWorld,1979R.Jacoby,PictureImperfect:UtopianThoughtforanAnti-UtopianAge,2007SociologicalReview,50,S1,May2002,specialissueonutopiaandorganization.M.DGordinetaleds,Utopia/Dystopia,2010JournalofPoliticalIdeologies,12,3,2007,specialissueonutopianisminwesternpoliticalideologyHis