Generation Z pp 159-172 | Cite as

Zombies, Monsters and Education: The Creation of the Young Citizen

  • Rosalyn BlackEmail author
  • Emily M. Gray
  • Deana Leahy
Part of the Cultural Studies and Transdisciplinarity in Education book series (CSTE)


There is a persistent concern amongst contemporary governments about the nature of the citizens that young people will become, a concern that manifests itself in a growing body of education policy which describes, and prescribes, the young citizen whom schooling is to shape. This policy is dressed in the language of freedom, initiative and self-improvement that have become so much part of the neoliberal zeitgeist. It purports to enable all young people to be healthy, active citizens with the capacity to direct their own lives as well as to improve the fabric of society. Such citizens are in contrast with those young people who are seen not only to be undemocratic and unhealthy but also to be deviant and dangerous, even monstrous. In this chapter, we deploy the metaphors of the zombie and the monster as a means through which to unpack contemporary educational policy within the Australian context. In the first section of the chapter, we introduce what we mean when we talk about zombies and monsters and how these metaphors can be used to discuss contemporary policy and the citizen they aim to (re)produce – the zombie citizen. We then bring this analysis to bear upon the policy itself as zombified. Finally, we argue that contemporary classrooms deploy the monstrous in order to encourage young people to become ideal neo-liberal citizens.


Young people Youth studies Health education Citizenship Risk Neoliberalism 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Education, Faculty of Arts & EducationDeakin UniversityGeelongAustralia
  2. 2.School of EducationRMIT UniversityBundooraAustralia
  3. 3.Faculty of EducationMonash UniversityVictoriaAustralia

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