1. Childhood in our society, if anything, is a false-utopian concept. But that phrasing makes it sounds more malicious than it is—I think the illusion is quite necessary.
What I mean is, childhood is an illusion, a time when children are sheltered from harsh reality. In ideal settings, the young are kept from violence, malice, and mortal concerns like homelessness and starvation. Though children might be gradually introduced to the existence of these concepts over time, they hopefully never experience them themselves. In short, during childhood, we are (often) initially led to believe in the perfection of the world and the impermanence of consequence; our parents are heroes, everyone can play fair and get along all the time, there’s more than enough for everyone, and though conflict exists, it can be quelled and avoided. Childhood is utopian in this way. In an ideal setting, a child is placed into the best fabricated utopia the adults surrounding that child can create, until they are mature enough to learn and accept the reality themselves. To punctuate the point, life doesn’t always play out like this, and when things go wrong—when children face undue adversity or direct trauma—adult psychology is permanently altered, unless resolved through later treatment. In short, humans need a utopian illusion of childhood to retreat to in memory and nostalgia, or they face later conflict in its absence—adversity that can be repaired, but not without cost.
2. I wasn’t exactly certain what kind of place in particular this question was asking for an example of, so hopefully this will still be a satisfactory answer. A place that comes to mind in my view of the ‘utopian’ concept is pretty simple; public libraries.
Some might be nicer and better equipped than others, and the image that I see when thinking of them is that of larger, newer libraries usually in the hearts of well-populated cities, but all libraries truly fulfill this idea. Not only are libraries a place of quiet and peace which gives them an almost sacred feeling in a world of chaos, they represent the execution of a utopian ideal; essentially unrestricted access to large swaths of human knowledge (if not practically all of it if equipped with internet access), offered for free, or at the very worst a nominal fee, to anyone and everyone who desires it. For me, this touches upon the fundamental concept of cooperation, the idea of equality and empowerment to all people regardless of any identifying factors; a way of diminishing that which separates us by attempting to empower everyone to an equivalent level (and to that note, a dystopian society might be one that limits its people to a lower level in the name of equality, but that’s an egoist’s talking point that I don’t really want to play devil’s advocate for).
3. Though I’m not sure I completely understand the concepts being discussed here, I’ll do my best to apply what I think is intended to my named piece. In my 3/24 post, I mentioned 1984 by George Orwell. It is difficult to say that 1984 has a utopian impulse, as the story is more of a cautionary tale about a potential dystopia than anything. However, taken as a literal opposite, perhaps the impulse might lie in observation and judgment. 1984 revolves around an oppressive government controlling its people by constant monitoring and force, and punishing even mild transgressions against an ordained will; to a certain extent, freedom of the judgment of others might be considered utopian in concept, though it leaves problems concerning the accountability a utopia would require.
The levels of utopian impulse, then, become clear. Winston is the body, who faces unimaginable danger for his private beliefs and relationship with Julia. Time is the constant bombardment of propaganda and scare tactics used by the Party to discourage deviation from its established normal, along with the historical revisions they constantly make and enforce to disorient and force obedience upon Oceania’s citizens. Finally, the collective is that of those citizens, living quietly beneath the rule of the Party with a seemingly obvious escape in rebellion that none attempt for fear of doing so alone.