Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Media Studies

Reader 1

T. Kim Trang Tran

Reader 2

Johanna Breiding

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© 2018 Natalie E Marsh


My final thesis project analyzes self-branding, online influencers, and microcelebrity culture that contribute to shaping self-identity on social media. The project focuses on online identity through the lens of digitally created or cyborg accounts made for the purpose of promoting consumer culture lifestyle. Cultural notions around celebrity culture as a means of profit are expanding and are more inclusive due to social media formats that nurture self-branding and self-promotion. Companies take advantage of personalized media creation and distribution by using online influencers to promote products because of the minimal payouts and labor required. Therefore, ideologies of buying and selling become deeply rooted online and have come to change its users’ conceptions of themselves and shape an identity linked almost exclusively with the internet across platforms. Self-branding, online influencers, and microcelebrity culture are distinct forms of labor on social media that generate value through branding and shaping a profit driven self-identity that leads to the erosion of a meaningful distinction between notions of the self and the production and consumption imperatives that benefit digital entrepreneurialism.

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This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.