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What's wrong with the world today and how might it become better (or worse)? These are the questions pursued in this book, which explores the hopes and fears, dreams and nightmares of the 21st century. Through architecture, fiction, theory, film and experiments with everyday life, Sargisson explores contemporary hopes and fears about the future.
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Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures Prologue Acknowledgements Introduction: Fool's Gold Definitions, Debates and Conflicts: Utopianism, Anti-utopianism and Anti-Anti-Utopianism Religious Fundamentalism Feminism and Gender Sex and Sexual Identity Climate Change and Catastrophe Fiction Human Attitudes to Nature Green Intentional Communities Fantastic Architecture and the Case of Dubai Domestic Architecture: New Urbanism and Cohousing Computer Gaming Cloning, Cyborgs and Robots Conclusions Notes Appendix: Dubai Strategic Plan 2015 : Aims and Guiding Principles List of Primary Sources Bibliography

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About the Author

LUCY SARGISSON is Associate Professor in Politics at the School of Politics and International Relations, University of Nottingham, UK. This is her fourth book; she is also the author of Contemporary Feminist Utopianism (1996), Utopian Bodies and the Politics of Transgression (2000) and Living in Utopia: New Zealand's Intentional Communities (with Sargent, 2004).

Reviews

'Sargisson's Fool's Gold? endorses utopia as a continuing vehicle of social hope. Written with great clarity, it steers a confident course through complex theoretical debates. It then offers a fascinating exposition of utopian currents in the contemporary world, ranging across religion, politics, literature, the prefigurative practices of architecture and intentional communities, and the virtual worlds of computer gaming. It is essential reading for anyone who thinks that utopia is dead, as well as those who know or hope it is not.' - Professor Ruth Levitas, Department of Sociology, University of Bristol 'Fool's Gold? is a delight. It traverses complex moral territory, connects all sorts of disparate strands of contemporary thought, reveals the richness of both literary and experiential utopias, and provides an authoritative framework within which we can all re-evaluate our own ideas about utopia. For me, Lucy Sargisson succeeds in rehabilitating Utopianism as 'dangerous, but necessary' social phenomenon, not least as an antidote to today's paralysing fatalism that would have us believe that there are no alternatives to today's reckless, planet-trashing capitalism.' - Jonathon Porritt, Founder Director, Forum for the Future 'This is a really exceptional book, just what we need. It brings together a wide variety of 21st century expressions of utopianism, including things like architecture, religious fundamentalism, the new urbanism, and computer games, along with the usual utopian literature and intentional communities, and puts this material together with political theory, ecological and sociological analysis, field work in intentional communities, etc., etc. It is consistently readable and interesting.' - Lyman Tower Sargent, Professior Emeritus of Political Science, University of Missouri-St. Louis

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