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Being geek - an attempt at building a theory of geekism

Passlick, Florian (2013) Being geek - an attempt at building a theory of geekism.

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Abstract:The present study aimed at exploring the concept of geekism and tried to identify important factors in the interaction of self-proclaimed geeks with technology. The main research question was “What does it mean to be a geek?”. Based on the existing literature on this topic, a qualitative interview scheme has been developed in order to scrutinize vital contributors to the experiences of technology-affine individuals. This interview scheme covered such aspects as the definition of the term geek, possible differences within the geek culture, sources of interests as well as products and environments that might be important to the participants. Furthermore, emotional aspects, motivational driving forces, values of the geek-community and influences on development have been discussed. Ten participants have been interviewed during the course of this study. The recorded interviews have been transcribed and analyzed using the Grounded Theory approach. The results imply the existence of distinct types of geeks and proved the automatization of processes, understanding of technology and future developments to be main areas of interest to the participating geeks. A slight tendency towards the valuing of versatile and playful products could be discovered, but no key concepts could be established regarding geek preferences for specific products or environments. Yet, moments of challenge, accomplishment and new understanding were identified as important positive experiences, while feelings of frustration remained rather vague. Motivational sources include the improving of products, social acknowledgement and the geek-culture itself. The values of sharing and support and being objective were highlighted by the respondents of this study. Influences on the developments of geeks included paternal support, peer influences and the professional background. Future research therefore needs to focus on the negative emotions of geeks, possible product preferences and the role of control in technology-interaction. Following studies on the topic of geekism might use the findings of this as a basic framework for understanding the complex and individual experiences of geeks.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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