Chapter

Utopian Bodies

David B. Morris

in Illness and Culture in the Postmodern Age

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 1998 | ISBN: 9780520208698
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520926240 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520208698.003.0006
Utopian Bodies

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Utopian thought is deeply historical. Each era invents its own versions of paradise on earth, and these paradises correspond to the changing cultures that invent them. The postmodern era confronts us with new versions of utopia that express the historical desires of our own place and time. Postmodernism is normally described as inherently heterogeneous, marked by the absence of a single dominant style or mode of thought. The electronic global village gives people both instant communication and a vanishing sense of community. In the United States, families change houses every few years in a mobility that increases in parallel with the divorce rate and the number of predatory urban gangs. With the sphere of social life imploded, with politics reduced to fund-raising and the clash of special-interest groups, utopia in the postmodern era has, in effect, transferred its location to the solitary, private, individual body.

Keywords: postmodern era; utopia; global village; technology; human body; social life

Chapter.  9779 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

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