Fake Geek Girls
Fandom, Gender, and the Convergence Culture Industry
New York University Press 2019
New Books in AnthropologyNew Books in CommunicationsNew Books in Gender StudiesNew Books in Political ScienceNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in SociologyNew Books Network August 26, 2019 Lilly Goren
Suzanne Scott’s new book Fake Geek Girls: Fandom, Gender, and the Convergence Culture Industry (NYU Press, 2019) provides an overview of the convergence culture industry and the world of fandom while examining the role that gender and misogyny has played in understanding who is and is not considered an “authentic” fan. Scott delves into the realm of geek culture and explores how this has evolved as a social identity, and where the gender bifurcation became more acute within this cultural milieu. Fandom, Fan Studies, and fan communities were, for quite some time, female dominated, producing fan fiction, fan art, and female-populated spaces focused around fan engagement. Over the past decade, as fan engagement became much more interactive through social media, there has also been a shift in gender dynamics, as fanboys became more vocally engaged in fan activities, and also became more strident in policing who gets to be a fan, or who is a more authentic fan. Fake Geek Girls examines these shifting structures and communities, while also analyzing where the media industry became involved in these changes and in trying to control and manage fan discourse. The book discusses how the media industry, with production bottom lines always in mind, worked to closely manage intellectual properties and their residual profits, and thus also has had a significant hand in trying to regulate and constrain, in some capacity, fan engagement. Not only does Fake Geek Girls provide a clear and insightful analysis of convergence culture and fandom, but it also highlights the connections and overlaps between the misogyny in contemporary fan culture and the dynamics within the American electorate at large. There is much to be learned from Suzanne Scott’s work from a host of disciplinary perspectives, and with regard to how powerful systems and stakeholders operate within the media-cultural community.
Lilly J. Goren is professor of Political Science at Carroll University in Waukesha, WI. She co-edited the award-winning Women and the White House: Gender, Popular Culture, and Presidential Politics (University Press of Kentucky, 2012).