Tag Article List: social studies

The Many Ways of Wakanda: Viewpoint Diversity in Black Panther and Its Implications for Civics Education

Justin Frank Martin
Whitworth University
Spokane, Washington, USA


Like many of its superhero film predecessors, Black Panther (2018) achieved widespread popularity both domestically and internationally. Although the film examines the focal character T’Challa’s (Black Panther) attempt to balance his dual responsibilities as king and protector of Wakanda, the viewpoint diversity displayed by its citizens suggests that the film’s central character is Wakandan society. Drawing on events and themes from the film, the essay argues that social domain theory (SDT)—a theory that attempts to explain the development of sociomoral concepts across the lifespan—provides a useful lens to examine Wakandans’ viewpoint diversity as portrayed in the film, specifically with regards to general similarities between the sociomoral considerations at the heart of the film, and those people bring to bear when understanding their social worlds. Moreover, the essay contends that such an analysis suggests that Black Panther (2018) may have some value for primary school educators as a potential aid towards their efforts to create learning activities related to civics education. 

Keywords: Black Panther, superheroes, society, education, social studies, children, civics, sociomoral development

Author Bio

Justin Martin, PhD is currently Assistant Professor of Psychology at Whitworth University. His research explores the development of social and moral concepts, specifically with regards to the ways we try to understand the decisions of other people as well as superheroes. He also writes for various popular press outlets such as Modern Treatise, PopMatters, and the Center for Scholars and Storytellers. For more about Justin and his research, visit https://justinmartin.academia.edu/

Suggested Citation


Martin, J. (2021). The many ways of Wakanda: Viewpoint diversity in Black Panther and its implications for civics education. Dialogue: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Popular Culture and Pedagogy, 8(1). http://journaldialogue.org/issues/v8-issue-1/the-many-ways-of-wakanda-viewpoint-diversity-in-black-panther-and-its-implications-for-civics-education/


Martin, Justin. “The Many Ways of Wakanda: Viewpoint Diversity in Black Panther and Its Implications for Civics Education.” Dialogue: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Popular Culture and Pedagogy, vol. 8, no. 1, 2021. http://journaldialogue.org/issues/v8-issue-1/the-many-ways-of-wakanda-viewpoint-diversity-in-black-panther-and-its-implications-for-civics-education/

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