Cops and Zombies: Hierarchy and Social Location in The Walking Dead

  • Melissa F. Lavin
  • Brian M. Lowe


Cinematic narratives must be understood as products of the social, cultural, political, and economic expressions of the society in which they are created. Apocalyptic cinema in the United States is in part inspired by geopolitical and environmental preoccupations, such as an endless “War on Terror,” threats of nuclear annihilation, increasing prevalence of “natural” disasters, and growing awareness of climate change and the threat it poses to human life. These social problems could threaten the very existence of the human species. In addition to fears on a broad scale, apocalyptic story lines are also inspired by domestic, cultural fears such as those inspired by social change, which is often met with reticence and suspicion. Twenty-first-century social change includes, as examples, gay and lesbian marriage, and legalization of previously demonized drugs. Progressive developments are thrust against traditional attitudes regarding family and social life, and therefore rattle the status quo.


Early Season Social Location Story Line Woman Character Show Advance 
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© Melissa F. Lavin and Brian M. Lowe 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melissa F. Lavin
  • Brian M. Lowe

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