The Rise of the Geek: Exploring Masculine Identity in The Big Bang Theory
Initiative for Critical Studies of Masculinity
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This paper will analyse the growth in representation of geeks as a form of masculine identity in popular culture using examples from US TV sitcom, The Big Bang Theory (2007). Previously represented as marginalised, male geeks, and the characteristics of geek identity, rationality and incompetence at social behaviours are now drivers of narratives. A number of reasons are given as to why the geek is currently a central character in popular culture, which are related to wider social, cultural and economic matters: the decline in support of corporate capitalism and a wider interest in science. This paper seeks to offer a workable definition of what constitutes a geek, which differentiates it from boarder parlance, and distinguishes it further from more traditional representations of masculine hegemony by focussing on the way in which sexuality is represented. Other representations of men portray sexuality and sexual prowess as popular indicators of masculine hegemony, yet the geek is distinguishable in the denial of sexuality and an increased focus on asceticism.
Morgan, A. (2014). ‘The Rise of the Geek: Exploring Masculine Identity in The Big Bang Theory’ (2007), Masculinities: A Journal of identity and Culture, Vol: 2: pp. 31-57
Available online: https://masculinitiesjournal.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/masculinities-journal_-issue-2.pdf
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