Evolution of the Geeks

analytical Essay
2255 words
2255 words

Evolution of the Geeks

In the past 20th century, the word geek has evolved into many different meanings. The term branched off to create a person with low social skills, often with high intelligence, a person highly interested in computer technology, and a person with a devotion to something that places him or her outside of the mainstream. Geek usually has negative connotations within popular culture, where being a geek tends to be an insult. The term can also be a badge of honor among subcultures, such as the know-it-all of Star Trek.

Media dictates popular culture. The television sitcoms I’ve watched growing up all displayed who is the stereotype for a geek. Steve Urkel from Family Matters, Screech from Saved By The Bell, Ross from Friends are some examples. All are viewed as highly intelligent and with low social skills. Yet the word is still evolving and currently is accepted as an honor. Examples of cool geeks of the 21st century are hobbits from Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Seth Cohen from The O.C, and Napoleon Dynamite. The consensus of the word geek by the media shapes the society’s minds of what is perceived to be true.

The term stereotype is usually referred to be a term of abuse. It gives society a short cut to identify and categorize people. The word also evokes a consensus among all of society. According to the Oxford English Dictionary Online, the word geek was introduced as the lowest of carnival performers, often displaying acts of swallowing live animals. It evolved in the 20th century to represent a person who is highly intelligent yet lacks the ability to socialize. This representation inflicts psychological and social behaviors that often consider geeks as outcasts and victim to abuse from the ...

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... taped-up glasses, the 21st century is welcoming the geek to the mainstream. Geeks are adorable, relatable, and provide comic relief. With the following of Harry Potter fans and quirky geek icons such as Napoleon Dynamite, the geek of today is the ultimate cool. Now geeks put the pop in pop culture.

Works Cited

Lester, Paul M., ed. Images That Injure: Pictorial Stereotypes in the Media. Westport: Praeger Publishers, 1996.

Long, Tom. “Great geek portrayals save “Dynamite” from its clichés.” Rev. of Napoleon Dynamite, by Jared Hess. The Detroit News on the Web 2 July 2004. 20 October 2004 <>.

Oxford English Dictionary Online. <>.

Soergel, Matt. “RETURN OF THE NERDS: Geeks are the coolest things in movies this summer.” Florida Times Union 28 Jul. 2004, city ed., c-1.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that stereotype is a term of abuse and evokes consensus among society. the character of steve urkel, played by jaleel white, on the 90s sitcom called family matters was the stereotype for the geek.
  • Analyzes how the movie napoleon dynamite portrays a circle of geeks who are oblivious to their insecurities. napoleon's odd geeky behavior makes him relatable to the audience.
  • Analyzes how reality television has fallen in love with geeks. american idol's clay aiken has been the top-selling artist despite his geeky appearance.
  • Opines that geeks are the coolest things in movies this summer.
  • Explains that the word geek has evolved into many different meanings in the past 20th century. it has negative connotations within popular culture, where being a geek tends to be an insult.
  • Analyzes how the need to become accepted implies that being a geek is undesirable to the opposite sex. urkel created this alter ego to match his crush’s status as the popular and beautiful student.
  • Explains that the media caught on to the rise of interest in technology and created the geek demand. the harry potter series, books and movies, caused a worldwide stir that promotes reading and learning.
  • Opines that the 21st century is welcoming the geek to the mainstream.
  • Explains lester, paul m., and long, tom. great geek portrayals save "dynamite" from its clichés.
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