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Heroic leadership in The Walking Dead’s postapocalyptic universe: The restoration and regeneration of society as a hero organism

Allison, Scott T. and Efthimiou, O. (2018) Heroic leadership in The Walking Dead’s postapocalyptic universe: The restoration and regeneration of society as a hero organism. In: Beggan, J.K. and Allison, S.T., (eds.) Leadership and Sexuality. Edward Elgar Publishing, pp. 212-230.

Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.4337/9781786438652.00020
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Abstract

Throughout the animal kingdom, sexual behaviors are conducted in the service of reproductive goals that will enhance the survival of the species. In modern developed nations, the urgency of the reproductive goal has been minimized. Our entertainment industry provides a vicarious experience of reproductive urgency in the television series The Walking Dead. This chapter focuses on the heroic self-sacrifice of bringing children into the post-apocalyptic world of lawlessness, hunger, and brutality. The decision to reproduce illustrates heroism and heroic leadership at two different levels of analysis. First, the choice to have children in the post-apocalyptic world reflects heroic self-sacrifice on the part of the individual decision maker. A woman who chooses to have a child in a world with no formal healthcare system risks her own physical wellbeing. Second, the choice to repopulate the broken world of The Walking Dead also reflects a systemwide societal drive toward regeneration and restoration. The decision to reproduce thus reflects the heroic embodiment of human society as an organism intent on surviving and even flourishing.

Publication Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Arts
Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/40924
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