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February 22, 2007

Collection: artifacts of a higher education institution

Institutions of higher education typically have their own sub culture. I have attended three separate universities and each has its own unique culture, and within the entire university exist sub cultures among the individual schools – LSA, A&D, etc. Something that is uniform however is that each school “brands? itself. Like buying a Volkswagen or owning a North face, that schools logo is worn in a similar manner. It becomes a part of the student’s identity. Ipod has also become a social phenomenon uniform throughout these institutions. I could write several papers just about this specific piece of machinery and how it has modified persons in society, however I am focusing on the modification of society. In this case it has altered the campus and society of the U of M. On campus students can be seen wearing their school logos and their ipods on their way to class. The use of MP3’s have limited social contact. It seems now we are all programmed beings concerned only with a high level of production. Everywhere we look it seems that consumerism has taken control. A university must make money, but their officials do so through vigorous branding and product design techniques. The image of the student must now be bought – in the past a pair of glasses, a library card and a book marked a student not the number of brands a personal wears. What is happening to our society? Have we all become a product of consumerism? It seems that our identity – as a Michigan student and as an American – has become a product of overpriced mass produced products.


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