Tag: the walking dead

WEEK 1–Society, Science and Survival: Lessons from AMC’s The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead

Rejoice–The Walking Dead is back!  I will get you caught up on the first week of eCornell’s/ AMC’s class with a lecture on “The Foundation of Survival”.  I’ll tell you a little bit about what I learned about “Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs” and how it applies to this week’s episode of The Walking Dead (Season 4, Episode 1).

MASLOW’S HEIRARCHY OF NEEDS

Abraham Maslow was a 1950s-era psychologist who, through his research and observations, developed a hierarchy of human needs.  He placed these beliefs in a pyramid shape with the most important, physiological needs, at the bottom.   Maslow believed that people were “basically honest, self-reliant and self-regulating with a tendency to seek relationships, growth and love.”  Per his pyramid, he thought that it was important for the lower-listed needs to be met before moving onto the higher-listed ones.  He believed that there was conflict when: 1)  these needs were not met or 2) a less important need was prioritized before a more important need was fulfilled.  Here are those needs from most important (physiological) to least important (self-actualization):

Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs

Many critics of this argue that the order that people experience needs can vary, the order of these needs can vary by culture (for example, some regard esteem more highly than safety) and regression of needs is possible.

HOW IT APPLIES TO THE SHOW

Clearly, the post-apocalyptic world that the characters live in shakes up the fulfillment of their lower-level needs.  From a pre- to post- zombie world, this has changed their motivations, as well as their perceptions.   In the most recent episode “30 Days Without an Accident” (Season 4, Episode 1), you can see the relationships and structures that have been created or strengthened by an environment that demonstrates a limited threat to their physiological and safety needs.  However, we see that fulfillment of these base needs has shifted opinions on things, like whether children should be carrying guns.  (According to Carol and Carl, the answer is “Yes, and we’ll teach them how to use them”.)  Even Rick’s three questions to newcomers reflects the difficult choices that have had to be made to fulfill basic human needs: 1) “How many walkers have you killed?” 2) “How many people have you killed?” and 3) “Why?”.

Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Clara (Kerry Condon) in Episode 1  Photo by Gene Page/AMC

Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Clara (Kerry Condon) in Episode 1
Photo by Gene Page/AMC

In this week’s discussions, we were asked:

  1. Was anyone self-actualized in their pre-zombie lives?  ( I said Dale)
  2. What would need to happen for Glenn and Maggie for them to reach self-actualization? (I thought that things had to get really good before everyone got there, even these love birds)
  3. Where is the best place to effectively hunker down during a zombie apocalypse? (I picked a mall!)

 

Leave your thoughts in the comments below and then stay tuned next week for “WEEK 2–Public Health and Infectious Diseases”!

 

The Walking AbbieAbbie Elliot is a senior contributor for MCM and a writer for ‘Under the Tuscan Gun, part of “The Cooking Channel’s “Extra Virgin” with actress Debi Mazar (Entourage’s Shauna Roberts) and husband Gabriele Corcos. She has served as managing editor for ‘DC on Heels’, and has written professionally for organizations like The White House Commission on Remembrance and AOL/The Huffington Post. Follow her on twitter: @abbie_b_elliott or email abbie.b.elliott@gmail.com

 

Society, Science and Survival: Lessons from AMC’s The Walking Dead

I’ve annihilated Nazi zombies in Call of Duty, taken a class in zombie obstacle courses, watched countless zombie flicks and run zombie-themed 5Ks.  So, I’ve decided to take my love of the un-dead to the next level by getting some real “book-learnin’ ” in.  My course of choice?  “Society, Science and Survival: Lessons from AMC’s The Walking Dead.”

That’s right–in a move that further blurs the fading line between education and pop culture, the University of California-Irvine and AMC are offering an in-depth online course on science and survival.  To all the naysayers: this class syllabus isn’t rocking surface-level fluff—students will explore real, scholarly concepts within the context of a zombie-filled landscape–like “Maslow’s hierarchy of needs—is survival just about being alive?”  and “Social identity, roles, and stereotyping—as shown through leaders like Rick and the Governor”.  The courses are taught by four of UC-Irvine’s prominent lecturers; versed in Social Sciences, Physics and Astronomy, Public Health and Mathematics.

So, dear readers, to support your laziness and your (understandable/relatable/some-other-word-that-ends-in-able) addiction to The Walking Dead, I will smush my hours of hard learning and hard television watching into weekly post-apocalyptic recaps.

So, catch the season premiere of The Walking Dead on Sunday, October 13, 2013.  Then, check back in when my “semester” begins on October 14 through December 20, 2013–I may need some help with my homework.  Mmmmm, brains…

 

The Walking AbbieAbbie Elliot is a senior contributor for MCM and a writer for ‘Under the Tuscan Gun, part of “The Cooking Channel’s “Extra Virgin” with actress Debi Mazar (Entourage’s Shauna Roberts) and husband Gabriele Corcos. She has served as managing editor for ‘DC on Heels’, and has written professionally for organizations like The White House Commission on Remembrance and AOL/The Huffington Post. Follow her on twitter: @abbie_b_elliott or email abbie.b.elliott@gmail.com