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Transhumanism Through the Lens of Comics

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This thesis aims to explore the limitations for the definition of ‘human’, through analyzing augmented superheroes. A diagnostic tool was developed to measure these superheroes’ humanness through the criteria of the biological, social, and metaphysical definition for human. Augmented superheroes

This thesis aims to explore the limitations for the definition of ‘human’, through analyzing augmented superheroes. A diagnostic tool was developed to measure these superheroes’ humanness through the criteria of the biological, social, and metaphysical definition for human. Augmented superheroes were selected due to the rise of scientific/technological augmentations and their effect on our understanding of ‘human’ within the three criteria. A general consensus of traits that made up human within each criteria was determined and used to assess each superhero. The six, permanently augmented, non alien heroes chosen to be analyzed were Ironman, Spiderman, Captain America, Wolverine, the Hulk, and Vision. Through their origin stories, their personal interactions with others, others reactions to them, and how they dealt with situations, the superheroes were judged on if they fit the current definition of human using the diagnostic tool. It was found that the Hulk and Vision failed to pass the definition using the tool while Ironman, Spiderman, Captain America, and Wolverine all met the majority of the requirements and thus passed as human by the current definition.

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2018-05

A Psychological Analysis of the Modern Superhero and Its Influence on Adolescent Popular Culture

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For the sake of this thesis, two scholarly collections edited by Dr. Robin S. Rosenberg – Our Superheroes, Ourselves (2013) and The Psychology of Superheroes: An Unauthorized Exploration (2008) – were reviewed. From these two collections and the multitude of

For the sake of this thesis, two scholarly collections edited by Dr. Robin S. Rosenberg – Our Superheroes, Ourselves (2013) and The Psychology of Superheroes: An Unauthorized Exploration (2008) – were reviewed. From these two collections and the multitude of psychological theories they cite, those most relevant to adolescent character development are considered. Three broad theories are examined first: positive psychology, equity theory, and attachment style. Then, six additional specific theories that define temperament (behavioral activation system and behavioral inhibition system), personality theory, duel identity, media identification, parasocial interaction, and comparison theory are reviewed. After reviewing each theory, Heroes in Crisis (2019) , a recent bestselling DC offering that addresses superhero trauma, is analyzed through the lens of these psychological theories in order to provide insight into the psychology or both superheroes and their adolescent fans.

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2020-05