When is a Nerd not a Nerd?         When he’s a Geek…                          Exploring the shift in                      ...
Purpose	  of	  Presenta3on	  •  To	  examine	  a	  shi8	  in	  representa3on	  of	     masculinity	  in	  popular	  cultur...
Key	  Concepts	  in	  Presenta3on	  	  •  Masculinity	  	  •  Embodiment	  (both	  having	  a	  body	  and	  being	  a	   ...
Overview	  	  •  Explore	  representa3ons	  of	  Masculinity	  of	  the	  past	  using	  some	  key	     film	  examples	  ...
Masculinity	  of	  the	  Past	  Men	  o8en	  represented	  as	  being	  in	  charge,	  confident	  and	  powerful	     Powe...
e.g.	  Die	  Hard	  	  
Some	  Popular	  Nerds	  	  Napoleon	  Dynamite	  	      BreX	  and	  Jemaine	  from	      	  Flight	  of	  the	  Conchord...
What	  is	  a	  Geek?	  	  •  Quan3fiable	  difference	  between	  Nerds	  and	  Geeks	  •  Some	  similari3es	  –	  sociall...
Ross	  –	  Friends	                                                       Palaeontologist	  	                             ...
Real	  Life	  Geeks	  	                                                         Steve	                                    ...
What	  are	  the	  implica3ons	  for	  men	  as	  geeks?	  	  1.  Representa3on	  of	  men	  as	  geeks	  highlights	  the...
Impact	  of	  Science	  and	  Technology	  	  •  Raises	  importance	  of	  technical	  exper3se	  v’s	     simply	  being...
Shi8	  in	  Power	  	      From	  physical	  to	  cerebral	  	  •  Shi8	  in	  male	  embodiment	  from	  physical	  to	  ...
Wider	  Representa3on	  of	  Masculine	                    Iden3ty	  	  hXp://youtu.be/BplBW1qNM4w	  	  -­‐	  Die	  Hard	 ...
A	  Word	  on	  Women	                                                                                   Angela	  Merkel	 ...
Reading	  	  •  If	  you	  are	  interested	  in	  further	  reading	  on	  Masculinity	  and	     representa5on	  see	  t...
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Constellation Keynote - Dr Ashley Morgan

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Constellation Keynote - Dr Ashley Morgan

  1. 1. When is a Nerd not a Nerd? When he’s a Geek… Exploring the shift in representation of masculine identities              Ashley  Morgan    
  2. 2. Purpose  of  Presenta3on  •  To  examine  a  shi8  in  representa3on  of   masculinity  in  popular  culture    •  To  explore  reasons  for  this  shi8  •  To  consider  the  implica3ons  for  masculinity  of   this  shi8  
  3. 3. Key  Concepts  in  Presenta3on    •  Masculinity    •  Embodiment  (both  having  a  body  and  being  a   body)    •  Cultural  significance  of  technology    
  4. 4. Overview    •  Explore  representa3ons  of  Masculinity  of  the  past  using  some  key   film  examples  •  Focusing  on  changes  through  the  same  franchise  films,  Die  Hard   (McTiernan,  1988)    •  Examine  recent  representa3ons  of  nerds  and  how  we  recognise   them  •  Defining  what  a  geek  is  through  examples  from  film,  TV  and  real  life  •  Considering  the  implica3ons  for  this  analysis  for  geeks  •   Considering  the  impact  of  wider  representa3ons  of  masculinity    •  Note  on  Women  and  Geeks  •  Further  reading    
  5. 5. Masculinity  of  the  Past  Men  o8en  represented  as  being  in  charge,  confident  and  powerful   Power  and  confidence  is  physically   embodied     i.e.  in  Rambo’s  muscles  and  gun     Or  through  the  powerful  symbol  of   suits    i.e.  Patrick  Bateman     Masculinity  can  be  ‘read’  on   the  bodies  of  men.     They  convey  authority  as  they   either  wear  suits,  or  their   bodies  are  pumped  up  –  both   these  connote  power.      
  6. 6. e.g.  Die  Hard    
  7. 7. Some  Popular  Nerds    Napoleon  Dynamite     BreX  and  Jemaine  from    Flight  of  the  Conchords      
  8. 8. What  is  a  Geek?    •  Quan3fiable  difference  between  Nerds  and  Geeks  •  Some  similari3es  –  socially  awkward,  lack  of  interest  in   appearance,  ‘uncool’,  loser,  unpopular  with  others,  o8en   aspire  to  be  cool    •  i.e.  Napoleon  Dynamite  aspires  to  be  ‘in’  with  popular  kids,   and  an  ar3st  •  i.e.  BreX  and  Jemaine  aspire  to  be  good  musicians  and  have   meaningful  rela3onships  with  women    •  In  contrast,  Geeks  are  ‘experts’  •  Exper3se  is  likely  to  be  represented  as  part  of  masculine   iden3ty  but  not  obviously  embodied  •  Problema3c?  Recent  research  among  school  age  children   finds  that  term  ‘geek’  used  pejora3vely  among  academic   children  (Mendick  and  Francis,  2011)  
  9. 9. Ross  –  Friends   Palaeontologist     Benji  Mission  Impossible  Technically  Sophis3cated     The  Big  Bang  Theory    Experimental  Physicist,  Theore3cal  Physicist  Aerospace  Engineer  (and  Astronaut)  Par3cle  Astrophysicist  
  10. 10. Real  Life  Geeks     Steve   Wozniak     Mark  Zuckerberg  Steve  Jobs     Prof  Brian  Cox  
  11. 11. What  are  the  implica3ons  for  men  as  geeks?    1.  Representa3on  of  men  as  geeks  highlights  the   wider  impact  of  science  and  technology    2.  Demonstrates  a  shi8  in  represen3ng  male   power  from  body  to  mind    
  12. 12. Impact  of  Science  and  Technology    •  Raises  importance  of  technical  exper3se  v’s   simply  being  able  to  do  a  job  (i.e.  banker)    •  Computer  based  world  •  Applica3on  of  science  to  everyday  lives    •  Male  driven  advancement  •  Science  and  technology  –  less  money  driven  and   more  driven  through  innova3on  and  prowess,   charity  and  philanthropy      •  Evident  in  hXp://givingpledge.org  •  Contrast  with  hedge  fund  managers,  city  bankers   etc    (men  in  suits)    
  13. 13. Shi8  in  Power     From  physical  to  cerebral    •  Shi8  in  male  embodiment  from  physical  to   cerebral  -­‐  in  physical  prowess  (i.e.  muscles,  or   being  able  to  dress  well  no  longer  the  only   signifier  of  power)  •  Consequently,  men’s  iden3ty  is  not  fixed,   appears  to  be  more  fluid,  and  is  more   ‘accessible’    
  14. 14. Wider  Representa3on  of  Masculine   Iden3ty    hXp://youtu.be/BplBW1qNM4w    -­‐  Die  Hard    hXp://youtu.be/B6CIcoot1sM    Big  Bang  Theory    Masculinity  through  physicality  s3ll  important,  Now  lies  alongside  greater  aXen3on  and   representatuion  of  science  and  technology.      
  15. 15. A  Word  on  Women   Angela  Merkel    Suits  are  such  an  important  signifier  of  power  that  women  wear  them  when  they  wish  to  demonstrate  power       A  number  of  women  as   geeks  exist  in  Popular   culture     In  past,  ‘geeky’   looking     women  and  girls   subject     to  makeovers  by   others  and  seldom       demonstrate    But  o8en  quirky  or  conven3onally  aXrac3ve,  seldom                              exper3se      ‘ordinary’  looking    
  16. 16. Reading    •  If  you  are  interested  in  further  reading  on  Masculinity  and   representa5on  see  the  following:  •  Connell  ,  R.W.  (1995)  Masculini)es,  Cambridge:  Polity.      •  MacKinnon,  K  (2003)  Represen)ng  Men,  Maleness  and  Masculinity   in  the  Media,  London:  Arnold    •  Geeks  and  Nerds  •  Kendall,  L  (2011)  “White  and  Nerdy”.  Computers,  Race  and  the  Nerd   Stereotype,  Journal  of  Popular  Culture,  44  :  504-­‐  524.        •  Mendick,  Hand  Francis,  B  (2011)    Boffin  and  geek  iden33es:  abject   or  privileged?,  Gender  and  Educa)on,  24:1:  15-­‐24.    •  Female  Geeks  •  Innes,  S  (2007)  Geek  Chic:  Smart  Women  in  Popular  Culture,   Basingstoke:  Palgrave  MacMillan    •  Other  •  Lewis,  M  (1989)  Liar’s  Poker,  London:  Hodder  

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