Characteristics of a Utopian Society

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  • 0:00 Utopian Society Defined
  • 0:49 Characteristics of a…
  • 2:31 What Value Does a…
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Shawn Grimsley

Shawn has a masters of public administration, JD, and a BA in political science.

Imagine what an ideal society looks like. Artists and thinkers have pondered for ages what qualities such a society would have. In this lesson, you'll learn what a utopian society is and some of the characteristics that thinkers and artists have assigned to it.

Utopian Society Defined

The first important thing to understand about a utopian society is that it is an ideal society. Another important detail about utopian societies is that one has never existed. In fact, the term utopia was created by Sir Thomas More from the Greek language and it actually means 'no place.' Groups and individuals have tried to create utopias in the past but all have failed to date. Thus, in a nutshell, a utopian society is a non-existent ideal society where everything is as good as it can possibly be for everyone in the society. The opposite of utopia is dystopia, which is a society marked by fear, oppression, and poverty with little to no hope for improvement.

Characteristics of a Utopian Society

So what exactly would a utopian society look like? Well, that probably depends upon who you are and the culture to which you belong. Nevertheless, the following features often characterize utopian societies posited in literature, art, and political philosophy:

  1. Government provides for the safety and welfare of all people in a peaceful manner and is controlled by its members, or society is structured in such a way making formal government institutions unnecessary.
  2. All members of society are treated equally with respect and dignity while still respecting the individuality of each member.
  3. All members of society live without fear of internal, such as crime, or external threats, such as war.
  4. All members of society have economic security, which allows them to pursue the work and life they wish to pursue.
  5. The economic system provides for all in an ecologically sustainable manner.
  6. The pursuit of knowledge, information, and innovation is encouraged and supported by society.

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