Profiles of an Ideal Society: The Utopian Visions of Ordinary People

Julian W. Fernando*, Nicholas Burden, Madeline Judge, Léan V. O’Brien, Hollis Ashman, Angela Paladino, Yoshihisa Kashima

*Corresponding author for this work

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Throughout history, people have expressed the desire for an ideal society—a utopia. These imagined societies have motivated action for social change. Recent research has demonstrated this motivational effect among ordinary people in English-speaking countries, but we know little about the specific content of ordinary people’s utopian visions in different cultures. Here we report that a majority of samples from four countries—Australia, China, the United Kingdom, and the United States—converge on a small number of utopian visions: a Modern Green utopia, a Primitivist utopia, a Futurist utopia, and a Religious utopia. Although the prevalence of these utopia profiles differed across countries, there was a cross-cultural convergence in utopian visions. These shared visions may provide common ground for conversations about how to achieve a better future across cultural borders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-60
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
Issue number1
Early online date13-Oct-2022
Publication statusPublished - Jan-2023


  • cross-cultural
  • culture
  • ideal society
  • utopia

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