Blog Post #14: How do you define dystopia?

A dystopia is a setting in which some group of citizens is treated unjustly or faces a form of oppression on the basis of things they can’t control, especially if it is for the benefit of a smaller, select group. This definition for dystopia I believe touches on some of the key characteristics of a dystopia while ensuring it is not too lenient. I think a lot of my feelings around the definition of dystopia have remained the same, but have expanded a little thanks to authors like Iris Young. In her Five Faces of Oppression she explores the different forms of oppression and how they present themselves. When building my definition of dystopia I took inspiration from her text when she said that “injustice refers primarily to two forms of disabling constraints, oppression and domination” or similarly when she said that, “oppression in this sense is structural, rather than the result of a few peoples choices”. The last quote in particular was really important as it made an important distinction for me that oppression can be a structural or individual act, and as such that duality should be included in the definition as well. By using “setting” the place of my initial choice “society” the definition is able to compensate for both larger and smaller scale dystopias. The first quote on the other hand influenced the second part of my definition as it points out the use of injustice as a way to dominate. This leads me to add the distinction that this is also particularly the case where some smaller more intimate group is able to thrive off of this suffering of others. 

Song of the week: N.M.E. by Set It Off

Fun Fact: The song title stands for No More Excuses but is pronounced like “enemy”

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