Commodifying Conspicuously and Covering It Up Culturally

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date



College of Arts and Sciences



Faculty Sponsor

Arthur Scarritt


After interviewing a few college students about their opinions regarding the honors college, I found a relevance toward the ideas of conspicuous consumption and meritocracy and how they related to the university’s advertising and business strategies. As this is from the data gathered of students’ perceptions, the results from this research give a look at the cultural norms students see. It’s within their observations and ideas that the concepts of meritocracy and conspicuous consumption can lead toward an analysis of the university’s influence on social norms and culture within the public’s idea of what a student should be. In the existence of such programs as the honors college, students point out their thoughts towards higher education and what kinds of individuals participate in those organizations. They also include thoughts towards themselves regarding such merit, and dissect their own perspectives leading towards the final results of this project.

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