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Title: Oppressed by our utopias: the politics of communities, origins and temporality
Author: Stephens, Angharad Closs
ISNI:       0000 0001 3480 2704
Awarding Body: Keele University
Current Institution: Keele University
Date of Award: 2008
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This is a study of the continuing capacity of a 'community in unity' to shape discussions of future f i,jII ! .. political possibilities despite the prevalence of claims about multiculturalism, network societies and global communities. It asks: How does the idea of a community in unity persistcntly dominate attempts to imagine what community might be? And what can we do to disrupt this reification of a community in unity and open up different possibilities? The central claim is that the commanding authority of a community in unity shapes even the most robust attempts to resist it. The argument begins with a study of the ways in which Benedict Anderson, Emest Gellner and others are complicit in presuming the necessity of a community in unity. The thesis then proceeds to explore some of the general forms through which accounts of a community in unity have been articulated in key texts by Max Weber and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. It focuses specifically on assumptions about temporality that are expressed in these fOlms which lead in tum to a study of the politics of origins. The analysis considers how these forms constrain attempts to think differently about our political futures and how these constraints might be disrupted. The thesis then identifies the approach of 'perfom1ativity', as developed by Judith Butler. and Homi • Bhabha, as a resource for developing different political imaginarie~. This leads me to a study of urban . writings, by Walter Benjamin in particular, and to offer a comparative analysis of the possibilities for disruption presented by the city. It concludes with a case study of political response to the bombings in London on 7th July 2005 and, using this as an example of a broader problem, finds that the idea of a community in unity has the capacity to prevail over ~ltemative possibilities identified in the urban context. Keywords: 'community; unity; temporality; origins; nations; cities; subjectivity; performativity; ontology.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available