Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 30 July 2021

Abstract and Keywords

In popular usage both ideology and utopia have negative, and somewhat similar, connotations. Utopia is thought to imply something naively idealistic and, as a result, impossible to achieve due to the constraints of the ‘real world’ or because ‘human nature’ will get in the way. Ideology is also thought to imply being out of touch with the ‘real world’ by being blinkered by a set of beliefs that distorts one’s understanding of that ‘real world’.

This chapter examines the recent history of the relationship between the two concepts by examining the way they are treated by their best known theorists, Ernst Bloch, Michael Freeden, Fredric Jameson, Ruth Levitas, Karl Mannheim, and Paul Ricoeur. The chapter argues that while they are closely related and one can become the other, they can also be separated because they reflect different ways of understanding the world.

Keywords: utopia, ideology, Ernst Bloch, Michael Freeden, Fredric Jameson, Ruth Levitas, Karl Mannheim, Paul Ricoeur

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.