We are the walking dead: Loss of identity at the end of the world

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Information about We are the walking dead: Loss of identity at the end of the world

Published on February 27, 2014

Author: CaryGillenwater

Source: slideshare.net


Paper presented at the Comics and Popular Arts Conference (CPAC), Atlanta, GA examining Rick Grimes in The Walking Dead comic book through the lens of Identity Theory.

Loss of Identity at the End of the World Dr. Cary Gillenwater – Northcentral University CPAC 2013

“Why are we disturbed and terrified of zombies? In the popular culture exploration Zombies: An Illustrated History of the Undead, Javanka Vuckovic proposes it is the fear of losing one’s identity.

The Philosophical Zombie or P-zombie Vuckovic’s (2011) thesis that becoming a zombie and therefore losing one’s identity is worse than dying is connected to the concept of the p-zombie at least in the sense of lack of consciousness.

“The second we put a bullet in the head of one of these undead monsters – the moment one of us drove a hammer into one of their faces – or cut a head off. We became what we are!...You people don’t know what we are. We’re surrounded by the dead. We’re among them – and when we finally give up we become them!...You think we live behind walls to protect us from the walking dead! Don’t you get it? …

Identity Theory An identity is the set of meanings that define who one is when one is an occupant of a particular role in society [role identity], a member of a particular group [social identity], or claims particular characteristics that identify him or her as a unique person [person identity]. The concept that every person has multiple identities is critical to the thesis of this presentation because it helps us to understand what effect these identities and their relationship to others and to society have on the “self.”

Every identity has a set of meanings that serve as the identity standard. The end goal is to match the perception to the identity standard.


The Self or Person Identity The person identity is therefore an identity standard.

It is the social structure that a person is in that affects the nature of the individual, and it is the basis for an individual’s motivations and behaviors.

“Rick insists on retaining his moral compass, though he likely finds his value scheme much changed.”

Change is the Only Constant “Your old identity will get you killed.”

Dead bodies everywhere…

The Long Hard Road

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