IT stereotypes in television shows

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Despite over 20 years of Information Technology (IT) intervention programs, the proportion of females in the discipline has decreased this century. The depiction of the IT profession on television is a significant source of information about IT careers and may influence student career decisions. In this study, the ways in which male and female IT expert characters were portrayed in five television shows were examined and compared. While many existing stereotypes were challenged, all IT expert characters displayed some stereotypical characteristics, with IT technicians portrayed in the most stereotypical way. Female characters were not as stereotypical as males; but also not well recognised. We posit that the male geek technician stereotype overshadows any alternative depictions of IT professionals and reinforces masculinization of the discipline. We suggest that parents and influential adults, the primary audience of these shows, should be included in any future discussions to break down IT media stereotypes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInformation Systems: Transforming the Future, 24th Australasian Conference on Information Systems
EditorsHepu Deng, Craig Standing
Place of PublicationMelbourne Vic Australia
PublisherRMIT University
Pages1 - 10
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9780992449506
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventAustralasian Conference on Information Systems 2013 - RMIT, Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 4 Dec 20136 Dec 2013
Conference number: 24th


ConferenceAustralasian Conference on Information Systems 2013
Abbreviated titleACIS 2013
OtherHosted by the School of Business IT and Logistics. The Australasian Conference on Information Systems (ACIS) is the premier conference in Australasia for Information Systems academics. The conference covers technical, organisational, business, and social issues in the application of Information Technology (IT).
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McLeod, A. B., Forgasz, H. J., & Lang, C. (2013). IT stereotypes in television shows. In H. Deng, & C. Standing (Eds.), Information Systems: Transforming the Future, 24th Australasian Conference on Information Systems (pp. 1 - 10). RMIT University.