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Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
In order to help frame a current theoretical impasse, in this essay we forward the figure of the zombie in Western cinema as an allegory for the reception of the concept of ideology by communication scholars. After noting parallels between (a) an early academic caricature of ideology and the laboring zombie, and (b) the subject of ideological interpellation and the ravenous, consuming zombie of more recent cinema, we suggest that rhetorical scholars have yet to move beyond an obsession with the laboring zombie. To escape the connotation of a totalizing determinism that haunts ideology critique, we urge an acceptance of the category of the unconscious and a focus on ideology as a force of subjectification. (Contains 129 endnotes.)