Practical Utopias and Utopian Practices (ESRC Seminar Series)

  • Lynne Copson (Speaker)

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course


'Utopian Relations and the Desirability of Harm: The Implications of Zemiology for an Alternative Sociality': The concept of social harm has recently been advanced by the emerging zemiological perspective as a more desirable lens for understanding and addressing socially injurious phenomena than that traditionally provided by crime. Outlining the central tenets of this position, this paper presents a critical consideration of the implications of the concept of social harm invoked for the development of alternative self/other relations, in contrast to those engendered by the conventional legal apparatus. In particular, drawing on the ambivalent ‘good place’/‘no place’ suggested by the concept of utopia, this paper seeks to interrogate the extent to which a social harm approach may be interpreted as offering the possibility of more desirable social relations, in particular, through the development of an increasing recognition of a shared humanity with and shared responsibility towards others, as opposed to the individualism engendered by contemporary criminal justice, whilst also questioning the practicability of its application, thus indicating the potential ‘no place’ element of such relations.
Period20 Sep 2008
Event typeConference
LocationBristol, United KingdomShow on map