Zombie fad: The current zombie fad shows that society is more unhappy, an English professor with Clemson University said.
A researcher said that the current zombie fad—popularized even more by the popular TV show “The Walking Dead”—is a reflection of an unhappy society.
Clemson University professor Sarah Lauro claimed the fad becomes more popular as people increasingly become more dissatisfied with the state of society and could reflect potential socioeconomic upheaval.
“We are more interested in the zombie at times when as a culture we feel disempowered,” Lauro told The Associated Press. “And the facts are there that, when we are experiencing economic crises, the vast population is feeling disempowered. … Either playing dead themselves … or watching a show like `Walking Dead’ provides a great variety of outlets for people.”
Lauro, an English professor, started studying zombies while she worked on her doctoral thesis and has kept her eye on the fad ever since. She keeps tabs on zombie-themed shows, video games, and movies.
However, she has particularly noted the so-called “zombie walk,” where people dress like zombies and congregate, stagger, and dance in public.
“I hate violence,” she told the news agency. “I can’t stand gore. So it’s a labor, but I do it.”
The “zombie walks” have taken place in around 20 countries as of 2012, with more than 4,000 people involved, she said.
“If you were to ask the participants, I don’t think that all of them are very cognizant of what they’re saying when they put on the zombie makeup and participate. To me, it’s such an obvious allegory. We feel like, in one way, we’re dead,” she said.
A researcher with Stanford University said that the zombie craze can be traced back to the start of nuclear warfare during World War II. However, the word “zombie” originates from African languages.
“In our world today, many of us live with an underlying awareness of possible risks to our survival, not just as individuals, communities, or nations, as has been the case for centuries or even millennia, but on a global scale for reasons new to our era of modernization,” Stanford literary scholar Angela Becerra Vidergar told redOrbit. “That awareness seems to be one factor in the overflow of the apocalyptic imagination from primarily religious, spiritual spheres into more secular parts of our culture.”
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