Date

2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Arts

Department

American Studies

First Adviser

Foltz, Mary C.

Abstract

This thesis performs a critical examination of the misrepresentation of geek women in popular media. Part one describes the evolution of the geek through television and film and discusses the continued marginalization of geek women. Part two performs a close reading of two specified episodes of The Big Bang Theory and examines their continuous reinforcement of negative stereotypes as pertains to geek women. Part three performs a case study of two self-identified geek women with a significant online presence. By comparing these real women to the characters seen in the show, the author elucidates the misconceptions made about geek women that are perpetuated by popular cultural icons such as The Big Bang Theory, and the deleterious effects this has on the geek woman's perception by herself and by others.

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