“Dance and Shake the Frame”: Culture Industry and Absurdity in Childish Gambino’s “This Is America”
This essay uses early twentieth-century critical and literary theory to examine the ways in which Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” critiques the violence and racism of American culture. While “This Is America” does not present an overtly Marxist critique of America, the song and video complement Horkheimer and Adorno’s Marxist criticisms of the culture industry. Furthermore, Gambino adopts devices and approaches popularized by absurdist art movements that critique the ideological mainstream. This essay concludes that, by applying absurdist approaches to his art, Gambino exposes the ways in which the American culture industry normalizes racism and gun violence.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Any submissions made by the author to the Albatross are in agreement of release under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported license. This license permits The Albatross as well as others to share this work through any means for non-commercial purposes given that proper attribution is given to the author as well as the publisher.
Authors retain copyright of their work.
By submitting their article to The Albatross, the author grants the The Albatross the rights for first publishing.
Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.