The Weight of the World: An Examination of Stigma and Social Pressure Through the Lens of Superheroes
Ever since the early 20th century, the world, and America in particular, has been infatuated with superheroes,super-powered beings who are capable of more than mankind could ever fathom. These stories tend to have similar themes and conventions. The hero (often a man) is born with or develops extraordinary abilities. As he grows and learns more about these abilities, he feels a duty to help those weaker than he is and subsequently becomes a hero—rescuing civilians from accidents, natural disasters, and other super-powered beings who choose to use their power for evil. To keep those he loves safe from these evildoers, he hides his identity and proceeds to live a double life, shielding his secret from those he loves. Since the inception of the superhero genre, there have been many attempts to break these conventions. Attempts have been made at the public superhero, a hero without a secret identity who can get recognized on the street. Other stories have tried exploring the corruption that this power can bring. Not many, however, have explored the impact that living a life such as this could have on the human psyche.
First Advisor Department
Dr. Anne Gordon
Second Advisor Department
Burtz, Kiersten, "The Weight of the World: An Examination of Stigma and Social Pressure Through the Lens of Superheroes" (2023). Honors Projects. 855.