Modification of a Definition–Dystopia

At the start of the semester, I defined dystopia as a typically negatively connotated society where its citizens and/or their individual rights are compromised in order to uphold a collective greater good (i.e. order, fairness, etc.,). After learning about dystopia and its many elements this semester, I have slightly modified my definition. As of now, I would define dystopia as a typically imagined, negatively connotated society where some of its citizens and/or their individual rights are compromised in order to uphold a collective or greater good (i.e. order, safety, etc.,). Although the changes are minor, I think they add a bit of clarity to the definition.

The first change was from “a typically negatively connotated society” to “a typically imagined, negatively connotated society“. I think it is important to specify that dystopias are usually thought of in fictional scenarios and therefore exaggerated in most cases. However, not all dystopias have to be fiction. This change was due to our exploration of real-life dystopias as well as fictional dystopias. When we analyzed real-life dystopias in discussion posts, the concepts were way more tame than the movie The Purge. Also, dystopias are always negatively connotated, so saying “typically negatively connotated” implied that positively connotated dystopias exist, which is false.

The second modification was the insertion of the word “or” in between “collective greater good“. This clarifies that there may be a group of people benefiting at the cost of others rather than just the promotion of an idea. Young’s Five Faces of Oppression contributed to this modification. It made me think of the concept of oppression in relation to dystopia. My original definition implied that dystopia is an all versus one situation. However, in most cases, dystopia divides the society into groups where one benefits at the cost of the others suffering.

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A realist passing through...
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