“No Geek Girls”: Boundary-Work and Gendered Identity in the Israeli Geek Community

Hadas Gur-Ze'ev*, Neta Kligler-Vilenchik

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Boundary-work theory describes the discursive efforts of groups to limit access to membership and collective symbolic capital. In this article, we explore the gendered nature of boundary-work within an online community of Geeks—a subcultural identity that has been culturally and historically constructed as male dominated. Employing in-depth interviews and qualitative content analysis of posts on the Israeli Facebook group The Geekery, we examine how different voices negotiate the Geek identity. We identify 3 distinct spaces of struggle within which these negotiations occur: the group’s collective identity, the self-identity of members, and the group’s identifying of “others.” In each space, we find a similar struggle between voices protecting the male-hegemonic identity and voices attempting to challenge the status quo.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)700-718
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Communication
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 (Hadas Gur-Ze'ev and Neta Kligler-Vilenchik). Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives (by-nc-nd). Available at http://ijoc.org


  • Boundary-work
  • Fan communities
  • Geeks
  • Gender
  • Participatory culture


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