Nerds still suffer from negative stereotype

200x190.jpgDespite the ubiquity of computers and the popularity of geek culture the traditional negative stereotype of nerds still exists, claim academics.

With the popularity of comic-book movies like Watchmen and everyone and his gran using social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook you may think it is cool to be  a nerd.

But experts say the sartorially challenged, anti-social nerd who wears thick glasses is still the one in our collective cultural consciousness, thanks to TV shows like NBC's Chuck.

Lori Kendall, a professor at the University of Illinois said: "Ten years ago, I thought the nerd stereotype would fade."

Sounds like someone expected becoming a professor of Information Science to impress their friends a little more than it does.
"I thought, 'Since we're all using computers, we're all nerds.' Well, that hasn't been true." she added.

Kendall adds that the durability of the negative nerd stereotype reflects a basic public uneasiness with computer technology.

"I think it's part of the bigger picture of how we view computers and technology.

"We make a distinction between business people who use PDAs and are tethered to their laptops but aren't really into it, and the 'nerds' who are really into it.

"So, there's some discomfort with computers that we still haven't quite resolved."

University of Illinois 

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