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Mallan, K. (2017). Dystopian Fiction for Young People: Instructive Tales of Resilience. Psychoanal. Inq., 37(1):16-24.

(2017). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 37(1):16-24

Dystopian Fiction for Young People: Instructive Tales of Resilience

Kerry Mallan, Ph.D.

The rise and popularity of dystopian fiction in recent years is quite marked, and critics often attribute such high sales of books and box office as being linked to the impact September 11 has had on the world, especially in the United States. Although the events of September 11, 2001 saw a heightened anxiety by nations and their citizens about the fear and threat of terrorism—an anxiety that is paradoxically lowered and raised by increased surveillance practices, security checks, and warnings—other changes since the last stages of the twentieth century have also raised concerns and anxieties. The processes of globalization, immigration, and advances in technology have brought about many social and economic changes, and advances in nanobiology are redefining the very essence of life. The extrapolation of the world people currently know into the very worst of future scenarios is the subject of dystopian fiction. Dystopian narratives are diverse in their treatment of future scenarios, with some presenting a pessimistic outlook and others offering “a horizon of hope” (Moylan, 2000, p. 147).

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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