The United states of “Zombieland”: Migration in popular culture as exemplified by a zombie outbreak

  • Marina Mandić Department of Ethnology and Anthropology Faculty of Philosophy University of Belgrade
migrations, zombies, outbreak, social structure


Migrations are one of the central discourses of contemporary society: they are the catalyst of social change; they influence changes in social structure, relations and positions, for migrants themselves as well as the residents of host countries. In the circumstances of a zombie outbreak the reasons and goals of migration can be simplified to one basic motive: leaving and avoiding areas populated by zombies with the aim of basic survival. I believe that the possibility of leaving represents the possibility of survival, which directly influences the formation of new networks of social relations, and thus, the survival of society. Following this logic, migrations emerge as one of the basic methods of survival in the zombie narrative, or rather, the basic method of rebuilding and redefining the social system. Even though there are different approaches to migration, authors who study this field do not mention or study migration represented in popular culture. At the same time, authors who study zombie movies do not give their attention to the process of migration. The paper points to a specific form of “invented” migrations, or rather a form of migration which, through its metaphorical narration displays patterns similar to patterns visible in contemporary society.  The paper will analyze forms of migration which appear in pop-culture narratives, or rather, display the ways in which theoretical concepts use to define types of migration in real social contexts can be used to analyze the narratives of zombie movies.


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Izvori/ Sources

Filmografija / Filmography

28 Days Later. 2002. Danny Boyle. DNA Films, British Film Council.
Land of the Dead. 2005. George A. Romero. Universal Pictures, Atmosphere Entertainment MM, Romero-Grunwald Productions.
Resident Evil: Extinction. 2007. Russell Mulcahy. Resident Evil Productions, Constantin Film, Davis Films, Impact Pictures, Capcom Co, Ltd.
Zombieland. 2009. Ruben Fleischer. Columbia Pictures, Relativity Media, Pariah.
World War Z. 2013. Marc Forster. Paramount Pictures.