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Revista mexicana de ciencias políticas y sociales

Print version ISSN 0185-1918

Abstract

KOZLAREK, Oliver. The Rediscovery of Utopia and Life in Sociological Imagination. Rev. mex. cienc. polít. soc [online]. 2016, vol.61, n.227, pp.31-53. ISSN 0185-1918.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0185-1918(16)30021-6.

The first part of this article discusses the Convivialist Manifesto as a contemporary example towards strengthening utopic energies in social theory. However, the fact that the Manifesto lacks a clear commitment towards concrete political and social movements is presented. The second part deals with Herbert Marcuses understanding of critical theory. According to this approach, theory must establish a symbiotic relationship with political and social realities. It is precisely this symbiosis between theory and action which makes his theory stand out due to a vital strength other options — such as the one expressed in the Convivialist Manifesto — lack. Nevertheless, there are also affinities between both theoretical projects, which are compared in this article: like the Manifesto, Marcuse's utopia does not insist in designing an alternative institutional structure, or in the need to modify their respective power constellations. Rather, Marcuse's utopia is interested in alternative forms of human sociability. Finally, it is argued that utopian thought in the present is as important as in Marcuse's day, but it needs to have a clear commitment towards concrete political and social movements.

Keywords : Convivialist Manifesto; Herbert Marcuse; critical theory; utopia.

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