Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Media Studies

Reader 1

Jennifer Friedlander

Reader 2

Nancy Macko

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Rights Information

© 2014 Meghan M. Gallagher


This thesis updates John Berger's work of critical visual theory, Ways of Seeing, to accommodate emerging web 2.0 technologies and new social media platforms. It analyzes the symbols of wealth and status encoded in both 15th century oil paintings and contemporary Instagram posts and attempts to dissect how American celebrity culture complicates methods of self-promotion and upscale emulation.