Note: This is a student project from a course affiliated with the Ethnography of the University Initiative. EUI supports faculty development of courses in which students conduct original research on their university, and encourages students to think about colleges and universities in relation to their communities and within larger national and global contexts.

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application/pdfResearch Process.pdf (72kB)Restricted to U of Illinois
Research ProcessPDF


application/pdfProposal.pdf (91kB)Restricted to U of Illinois


Title:Class and the consumption of status symbols on the U of I campus
Author(s):Norberg, Jennifer
Social Status
Abstract:This project aims to answer the following questions: Do U of I students use consumer goods to display their socio-economic status? Do students manipulate their image with expensive clothing or accessories (jeans, purses, cell phones, shoes) to appear to belong to a higher status than their actual financial means? The author conducted 30 surveys and four interviews. The results show that status symbols might not be as important at all and instead point to some level of class invisibility. The author reflects on some sampling problems and the absence of major trends in the data collected. The project includes a proposal for continued research.
Issue Date:2006-12-15
Publication Status:unpublished
Date Available in IDEALS:2007-09-02

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

  • Student Communities and Culture
    The university offers an extraordinary opportunity to study and document student communities, life, and culture. This collection includes research on the activities, clubs, and durable social networks that comprise sometimes the greater portion of the university experience for students.
  • Diversity on Campus/Equity and Access
    This collection examines ways in which the U.S. university and the American college experience are affected by diversity, and difference. In particular, these student projects examine experiences of diversity on campus, including important contemporary social, cultural, and political debates on equity and access to university resources.

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