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Kimberly Yost

This chapter explores the emergence and coalition of virtual groups on Twitter in the aftermath of the 2016 election to voice opposition to the Trump administration and GOP agenda. Collectively using the hashtag #TheResistance, subgroups such as #GeeksResist, #StarFleet, #RebelAlliance, #HeroesResist, #RebelScum, #DAResists, #Galactica, and others, demonstrate the emergence of leaders in an online environment for creating community and common purpose in the exercise of dissent. Interestingly, these groups have co-opted the characters of science-fiction-fantasy narratives not only as a means of creating community but also of enabling intragroup conferral of leadership. Discussion includes team development, challenges for real world activism, intersectionality, and the anonymity of a character account as a catalyst for self-empowerment, leadership, and dissent.

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Kimberly Yost

This chapter examines the evolution of Harry Potter to a transformational leader and reflects upon how popular culture can be useful in understanding the dynamics of resistance and social change. Harry is usually discussed in terms of heroic qualities and not properly seen as a character that develops into a leader within a shared power structure where resistance is the primary objective. What we find in the Harry Potter books is an example of empowering others to resist detrimental social change and create a renewal of the social contract. Throughout the series of novels, we see Harry and his peers demonstrating resistance and enacting change in creative ways that bring order from chaos and a renewed stability to their community.

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Kimberly Yost

This chapter explores the social, economic and political tensions of exclusion through embodied experiences of transformation to Other as depicted in Neill Blomkamp films, District 9 (2009), Elysium (2013) and Chappie (2015). As a result of the journey to Otherness, the protagonists are empowered to enact social change and subvert the interests of the powerful within their social systems. The chapter frames the argument within social justification theory and discusses love and redemption as concepts inextricably tied to leadership and social change.

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Kimberly Yost

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Edited by Kristin M.S. Bezio and Kimberly Yost

The newest generation of leaders was raised on a steady diet of popular culture artifacts mediated through technology, such as film, television and online gaming. As technology expands access to cultural production, popular culture continues to play an important role as an egalitarian vehicle for promoting ideological dissent and social change. The chapters in this book examine works and creators of popular culture – from literature to film and music to digital culture – in order to address the ways in which popular culture shapes and is shaped by leaders around the globe as they strive to change their social systems for the better.