Locating Zombies in the Sociology of Popular Culture by Todd Platts
In Sociology Compass (2013): 1-14
Abstract: In this essay, focusing primarily on the cinema of the walking corpse, I provide an overview of zombie studies and suggest potential avenues for sociological inquiry into zombie phenomena. I argue that zombie ﬁlms, comic books, novels, video games, and the like can be seen as signiﬁcant cultural objects that reﬂect and reveal the cultural and material circumstances of their creation. Despite emanating from complex culture-producing institutions and (arguably) capturing extant social anxieties, sociology has remained quiet on zombie phenomena. Issues of signiﬁcance, history, and deﬁnition are discussed.I then locate three avenues of inquiry ideally suited to the sociological toolkit: symptomatic analysis of content, production, and audience response and interaction. I conclude by calling for a multiprongeds ociological analysis into “zombie culture”.