Sir Thomas More Utopia No Place Analysis

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Utopia: No Place
Chris Schendel
Utopia- a word invented by Sir Thomas More as a play on the Greek ou (meaning “not”), eu (meaning “happy”) and topos (meaning “place”). Though More invented the word, the idea of a perfect society where all are equal and valued has been an endeavor of humanity since far before More’s time. However, More’s vision of an idealistic society misses the mark- his vision simply flies in the face of human nature. Ideals of communal property and familial units (wherein individuals can be relocated to a different family based on population density) just do not operate well when taken off the page and actually attempted. The imagined benefits of these attempted utopian societies (of which Socialist and Communist states
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There is a quick glossing over of how exactly such housing unit reassignments take place. What exactly is meant by enroll? Though More states that households are consistent of “generally blood-relations” (606), it is not clear how this is maintained. What would happen in a situation where no adult within the household desires to move to a different household? Does, then, the Utopian government intervene and forcibly reassign a random individual to a different family within a different city? That is just one of the many possible outcomes of this problematic social policy.
Social Identity Theory, espoused by Henri Tajfel and John Turner in 1979 (**source*), explains effectively why More’s Utopian idea of communal, negotiable family groups, and occupations based on interest and ability would not function. In this theory, Tajfel explains there are three mental processes which take place, which effectively create an “us” vs “them” attitude in humans. The first is categorization, wherein we categorize objects in order to identify, understand, and evaluate
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Joe the Craftsman is proud of his skill as a craftsman, which he well should be, because he and his fellow craftsmen from Amaurot produce communally necessarily goods to much more specific tolerances than Amaurot’s neighboring cities. He is also proud to be part of Familial Unit 348B- talking with other craftsmen at work, he has realized that Familial Unit 348B spends its recreational time pursuing much more intellectual endeavors. Already, two members of Familial Unit 348B have been promoted out of manual labor and are now considered Scholars. Joe the Craftsman hopes that one day he, too, will not spend much longer as a laborer, as “…it happens from time to time that a craftsman devotes his leisure so earnestly to study, and makes such progress as a result, that he is relieved of manual labor and promoted to the class of learned men. From this class of scholars are chosen ambassadors, priests, tranibors, and the governor

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