Marxism and The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead is a popular American TV show centring on a small band of survivors from a zombie apocalypse.

A trailer for series one can be found here (please watch this before deciding whether to share with students):

In this page from the Sociological Cinema, Ami Stearns provides a sociological analysis of the programme using Marxist theory:

Discover More The Zombie Manifesto: Marx and The Walking Dead

Questions follow at the end and as a homework exercise, students could attempt a Marxist or other theoretical analysis of a TV show or film of their choice.

You could then possibly use this to introduce Ulrich Beck’s (2004) idea a ‘zombie category’. For Beck, zombie categories are ideas or concepts that were more applicable to a previous era, but sociologist, still hold onto. For example, Beck suggests that social class is a nineteenth century concept that no longer has much relevance today, but sociologists insist on keeping it alive like a zombie. Could we also say that the family is a zombie category – a category and concept that no longer describes how we live our lives in contemporary society?

More Resources from Discovering Sociology

Classic Youth Subcultures

Students should be able to draw on examples from a wide range of subcultures, both classic and...


Functionalism and Rites of Passage

A useful overview of the Functionalist view of youth culture can be found below:


Generation Boomerang

Students could be asked to write a timeline of their lives as they anticipate them to be after...



Kirsty Grocott’s article in the Daily Telegraph:


Marxism, Neo-Marxism and Youth

The Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCCS) based at Birmingham University produced a ...


Neo Tribes

Some Sociologists suggest that subcultures may no longer exist in the form that they once did. Fo...


Social Class and Jamaican Patois

The following Daily Mail article laments the adoption of Jamaican patois styles of language in...


What is Youth

By way of starting off an investigation into youth subcultures, teachers could pose the proble...


Youth - Ethnicity and David Starkey

David Starkey featured in a Newsnight discussion about the 2011 UK riots. This Guardian articl...


Youth Subcultures and Consumerism

The class could investigate and consider the extent to which they consider the ‘haul girl&r...


Youth Subcultures Introduction

We begin here by looking at ‘what is youth?’, and then the idea of