I thought I would share a draft of a new paper; it’s still rough and I welcome any and all feedback!
Abstract: I use the online discourse about “fake geek girls” from 2012-2013 to offer an understanding of identity and boundary policing and relate this to questions of who merits attention, why, and what does that attention mean? I begin with a review of scholarly (and seminal popular) literature on geeks, “girl geeks,” identity policing, and subcultural authenticity, finding that knowledge and enthusiasm are central to the notion of geekiness, but also gendered. This background permits me to elucidate the relationship between the policing of identity (e.g., am I a geek?) and the boundaries of social categories (e.g., is enthusiasm for a Hollywood movie adaptation sufficient to being geeky?). I then explore the discourse about “fake geek girls” and argue that the policing of some women as “fake” can be understood as a conflict over what is attended to and by whom. In this case, the policing is about (1) the movement of attention within and across the geek subcultural boundary and (2) the meaning of attention