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"Yeah, sometimes we're like that, but it's not our entire world": Negotiating counter nerd identities against a dominant narrative
Hendrix, Amanda R.
This research analyzes the identity of women of color nerds and their experiences within their nerd subcultures. Attributes often associated with being nerdy include placing a high value on intelligence, placing oneself in opposition to “cool” groups (such as jocks and burnouts), and being interested in books and knowledge (Bucholtz, 1999; Kendall, 2000), but there is more to being a nerd than this. Being a nerd today has gained some status compared to the past, but a dominant narrative about who can be a nerd, and what it means to be a nerd persists. White male-dominated institutions have systematically discouraged, discriminated against, and disallowed women—especially women of color, from “nerdy” pursuits. Nonetheless, there are women of color who identify as nerds. Based on in-depth interviews with women of color nerds, this study examines how participants conceptualize what it means to them personally to be a nerd, and explores significant experiences related to their nerd identity. I will also explore how participants perceive and challenge the dominant narrative of what it means to be a nerd.
Arts and Letters
Master of Arts (M.A.) San Diego State University, 2017
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