Kevin McInerney

the appropriation of nerd culture

The word ‘nerd’ is considered to have lost all its meaning by today’s society. Long gone have the real nerds who suffered social ridicule and hide away on the edge of normal social chains. The rise of nerd culture has been accepted by the rise of science fiction movies, gaming and the explosion of fantasy TV series such as ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘The Walking Dead’. However this isn’t the acceptance of nerd culture, it’s the appropriation of aspects of the culture and is now used as a badge of honour by the now ‘fake nerds’ who only see it as a popular trend and claim all the credit of being ‘such a nerd’.

My piece is a three part series of magazines, each one looking at different areas of nerd culture. The first is a history of real nerds before it was popular and the social ridicule they faced. The second is the rise of nerd culture into mainstream media through fashion and visual media and how the image of a nerd has changed. The third is the reclaim of nerd culture by the real nerds, this section details the appropriation of nerd culture and how the word nerd doesn’t mean anything anymore. It also remarks on the line that society has drawn: it’s now ok to be nerdy but only to an extent.

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