Title

'People in Hell Want Slurpees': The Redefinition of the Zombie Genre through the Salvific Portrayal of Family on AMC's 'The Walking Dead'

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

4-2015

Publication Source

Communication Monographs

Abstract

AMC's popular post-apocalyptic show The Walking Dead follows a clan of survivors as they endure the zombie apocalypse while struggling to maintain their humanity. The characters pursue temporal salvation through four social institutions: family, government, religion, and science/medicine, identified by a preliminary soak. Through content analysis of dialogueic, visual, and nonverbal references to these institutions across seasons 1–3 (N= 35), we find that each respective season proposed, and then rejected to some extent, the redemptive roles of science, religion, and the state — mirroring actual contemporary distrust. Simultaneously, through persistent, underlying storylines, the show reveals a traditional understanding of the centrality of familial relationships to maintaining a liberal society's survival — which we argue redefines the zombie genre away from its leftist roots.

Inclusive pages

1-25

ISBN/ISSN

0363-7751

Publisher

Taylor and Francis

Peer Reviewed

yes