Sociology of Living Death Revisited

October 29, 2010 at 4:55 am 1 comment

| Gabriel |

By a pretty wide margin (almost twice as many pageviews as the runner-up), Code and Culture‘s most popular post to-date was last year’s “Towards a sociology of living death.” If you speak French, also see some more good zombie sociology abstracts (on RCT and Bourdieuian) from Denis Colombi. I figured it was worth revisiting this between it being Halloween and the premiere of Walking Dead on AMC (which is based on a really good comic book and looks to be really good itself). Unfortunately, I could only think of one more entry to add to this literature:

Post-Marxism. Marx himself (in Die Nichtheilige Lebenstot) emphasized the question of under what conditions zombiekind would go from being a class of itself to a class for itself, but most later Marxists have agreed with Hall and Romero’s critique that it is meaningless to talk about class consciousness for entities that lack consciousness of any kind. Rather post-Marxists prefer to follow the question first elaborated in Gramsci’s Quaderni del Cimitero as to understanding the partial class autonomy of zombies as reflected in the dichotomy between traditional (i.e., hegemonic and slow-moving) and organic (i.e., anti-hegemonic and fast moving) zombieism. However as Boyle and Karabel noted, ascribing any appreciable socio-economic-political agency to zombies qua zombies (whether organic or traditional) is effectively indistinguishable from simply treating zombies as a class of their own with real class power to reshape society (specifically, into an apocalyptic hellscape).

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1 Comment

  • 1. drschweitzer  |  October 30, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    I also think we have to consider zombies as viewed through the Lacanian Real.


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