Blog 6 – When You Actually Have Data to Look At

My survey closed Wednesday, August 6th at noon. Overall, I received 176 responses, which is a lot more than the three I had right after Comic Con!

Look at all the pretty responses I got!

Look at all the pretty responses I got!

Unfortunately, NVivo for Mac really sucks and can’t import spreadsheets, so I’m having to code by hand in Excel and then load into SPSS. This will take a nice, long time, but I have several geeky movies to have playing in the background.

Having actual data makes everything real. Before this I just had impressions from the few journal articles I read that dealt with gender in geek culture. Most of my literature were actual blog posts people wrote in response to the “fake geek girl” controversy of 2012. My mentor from last summer, Dr. Suzanne Scott, had a great piece about the invisibility of women in comic book culture, but for every voice trying to show the visibility of women in the geek community, there are ten more dudes talking over them, thinking their audience is just more dudes like them. Dr. Scott research showed even in academia any studies on comic books and their consumers has the preconceived notion that comic books are primarily read by men.

The argument about women in subcultures such as comic books, science fiction, or television shows has always been there; in the early science fiction magazines that are the origins of fandom, many of the writers in the letter columns were women, involved in some of the first circulated fan discussions. Some male writers were resistant to letting women into the science fiction world, afraid they’d turn their “scientific” literature into melodramatic romance (one of the most vocal was a young Isaac Asimov).

Women being shut out from geek culture isn’t a new thing, it’s just that as geek culture goes mainstream, people who don’t fit the traditional “white and nerdy” description of straight male geeks want more visibility – this includes people of color (geeks of color?) and queer geeks along with women. I really don’t expect my data to deviate from the dominant experience of geek girls – exclusion and gatekeeping. We’ll see what happens when I begin to code my data.


Blog 5 – New Challenges and Comic-Con Picspam

As I mentioned in my latest Semi-Scholarly Linkspam post, I’m doubling up on my official blog posts so I have them completed by the end of summer. This week’s official blog post is about what new ideas, challenges, or issues I have encountered in the research process. To be quite honest, nothing I’ve read or did recently has really been new to me. I could talk about being retweeted by Orlando Jones and the power of networking over social media, but that isn’t exactly remarkable – networking is the reason why social media exists, so of course my network of friends, professionals, and fans came together to bring more subjects to my research. Continue reading

Semi-Scholarly Linkspam: Comic-Con Edition

I can't imagine those costumes are comfortable.

I can’t imagine those costumes are comfortable.

I only have a few more weeks of summer in which to do my blog posts, so expect to hear from me a lot in the near future. This one is just another linkspam, though … but it has commentary!

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Blog 4 – What’s New and Post Comic-Con Recap

It’s been over a week since I last posted about Comic-Con, and I think I’ve mostly recovered since the convention’s ending Sunday. Because I got a really bad seat, I live-tweeted the Community panel while my friend (and fanartist) Julieta took pictures with my really nice camera from the fourth row. Unfortunately I haven’t uploaded many of my pictures from either my phone or my camera (will post when I do), so here’s a picture of cosplayers dressed as Cowboy Jeff and Geneva I tweeted:

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SDCC – The Calm Before the Storm

San Diego Convention Center

San Diego Convention Center

After a few weeks of being ill (yuck!) I’m finally well, just in time for Comic-Con! I will be tweeting out my survey using the #SDCC hashtag to recruit subjects every hour starting at 5:00 pm tonight. I’m waiting to see how many respondents I get today and tomorrow to determine if I will continue tweeting Friday, Saturday and Sunday. My friend has tested the link and checked my questions (he’s getting a Ph.D. in psychology so he knows this stuff). I’ll be making posts live from the convention center throughout the weekend (wifi willing) and posting pictures here and on my Twitter account (@lexiingram) if you want to follow along.

I’m also hoping to get a few weekly blog posts that I didn’t do while sick done while I’m waiting in long lines for seats in Hall H (the action plan is to get there at 4:00 am Saturday so I have seats for the Marvel and DC panels), so you might be hearing from me a lot.

And I’ll leave you with the following thought. Make of it what you will.

A Bit of a Manifesto

I’ve been having health issues the past two weeks, so I’m behind on my blog postings. However, I just read a brilliant article by Arthur Chu of The Daily Beast that pretty much is a manifesto for my research topic and why I want to study geeks and geek culture: because it’s everywhere now. It even validates my thesis about fans influencing the direction of popular culture that I derived by discussing shippers and Community.

How Battlestar GalacticaGame of Thrones, and Fanfiction Conquered Pop Culture