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Att följa Vägen: En narratologisk analys av daoistisk tematik i filmen Kung Fu Panda
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Political, Historical, Religious and Cultural Studies (from 2013).
2020 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Following the Way : A Narratological Analysis of Daoist Themes in the Film Kung Fu Panda (English)
Abstract [en]

The following study is an analysis of religious themes within popular culture. The research material is the animated DreamWorks film Kung Fu Panda. The study uses a narratological method of analysis to investigate themes from the Daoist religion and how they are expressed in the film. Because of the difficult-to-comprehend and almost esoteric nature of Daoism, the present study is heavily reliant on Louis Komjathy’s book Daoism: A Guide for the Perplexed as a description and explanation of the Daoist Religion. It is with consultation to Komjathy’s work that the study’s first research question will be analysed: “How does the film represent Daoist themes?”. Also of import for the this study is J.J. Clarke’s book The Tao of the West: Western Transformations of Taoist Thought, with which the second research question will be analysed: “How can the film be interpreted through Clarke’s theory of Western usage of Daoism?”. The study finds that the film Kung Fu Panda heavily uses Daoist themes in its narrative, however, these themes are not alone, as Western values regarding individualism are also notably present. This, in turn, confirms Clarke’s theory of Western usage of Daoism. The film reflects Clarke’s idea that Daoism in the West has a slim possibility of succeeding as a whole religious movement. The Daoism of the West is therefore, in Clarke’s view, a disassembled and pluralistic one, where a selection of Daoist concepts and themes is taken in by the West so as to be combined with already existing Western values.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2020. , p. 27
Keywords [en]
Daoism, Kung Fu Panda, narratology, popular culture, film
Keywords [sv]
daoism, Kung Fu Panda, narratologi, populärkultur, film
National Category
Humanities and the Arts Religious Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-77294OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-77294DiVA, id: diva2:1414674
Subject / course
Religious Studies and Theology
Educational program
Secondary Education Programme: Upper Secondary Education Programme: Religion (300 ECTS credits)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2020-03-24 Created: 2020-03-14 Last updated: 2020-03-24Bibliographically approved

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Department of Political, Historical, Religious and Cultural Studies (from 2013)
Humanities and the ArtsReligious Studies

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Citation style
  • apa
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Output format
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