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An Examination of Prestigious Stigma: The Case of the Technology Geek


  • Jo Ellen Moore

    (Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, USA)

  • Mary Sue Love

    (Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, USA)


This paper examines “technology geek†through the social psychological lens of stigma. The research expands on an aspect of stigma that can materialize in work settings but has not been fully explicated in prior stigma theory, namely, prestige. The authors argue that a stigma may be worn with pride rather than shame, typified by the case of the technology geek, called “prestigious stigma.†The theory building focuses on interactions between the technology geek and others in the organization, positing that prestigiously stigmatized individuals behave in ways that differ from what social psychologists have generally posited for the stigmatized. This effort culminates in a model of mixed interaction involving the technology geek, which extends prior stigma theory and provides insights for practice and future research regarding technology professionals in organizations.

Suggested Citation

  • Jo Ellen Moore & Mary Sue Love, 2011. "An Examination of Prestigious Stigma: The Case of the Technology Geek," International Journal of Social and Organizational Dynamics in IT (IJSODIT), IGI Global, vol. 1(2), pages 1-25, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:igg:jsodit:v:1:y:2011:i:2:p:1-25

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