Evolution of the Geeks

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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 ... ... middle of paper ... ... 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 < http://www.detnews.com/2004/screens/0407/07/e01-201089.htm>. Oxford English Dictionary Online. <http://dictionary.oed.com>. 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.
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