Graduation Year

Fall 2014

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Audrey Bilger

Reader 2

Lynn Thomas

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© 2014 Nora E. Studholme


In recent years, Silicon Valley has become virtually synonymous with startup companies. These companies are defined by their famous "startup culture." An interesting and unanticipated outcome of this research was the finding that the discourse of Silicon Valley startups is framed centrally in terms of culture. I use discourse analysis to understand the way people create and perpetuate structures of power, gender, and culture. By studying the way people in startup companies talk about their expectations and experiences, this analysis hopes to gain a deeper understanding into the normalized cultural discourses surrounding startup organizations, as well as the way individuals negotiate their subjective realities within this sphere.


This Senior Thesis in Anthropology was conducted in conjunction with Claremont McKenna College and Pomona College.