Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

Reappraising the Residual

Posted by emilyjones232 on February 20, 2017

After reading the assignment for today from Reappraising the Residual, the section about taking the price tag off of an item caught my attention. The book gave an example of giving wine to the host of a party or dinner. It is considered a “social faux pas” to leave the tag on the bottle of wine. The section cites that the gift exchange’s value is not solely based on the price of the wine, but rather the exchange itself.

This image is flipped in our digital age with the audiences of YouTube. In this section of chapter 2, the authors state that the digital gift is a gift without the “obligation to reciprocate.” That is completely true.  Rather than reciprocation, the gift is membership into the fan community. For example, usually after every YouTube video, the creator or a animation will say “SUSCRIBE!” The makers of these videos want confirmation for their hard work just as much as the fans want to be included in the process.

However, it is later mentioned that not all YouTubers who make videos are in it for the gifts and commercial gain. Some people just post something because they believe it is valuable and they want to share it.

This raises the question of what is valuable on the video sharing website. The consumers create value by the amount of shares or likes of a video and media moguls look at that to find what to advertise to next.


3 Responses to “Reappraising the Residual”

  1. adusheck said

    I like the fact that you pointed out the bottle of wine example because it caught my eye too. I also like the fact that you talked about the digital gift because I feel like these two compliment each other because taking the price tag off is also not expecting anything but just wanting the person to enjoy the gift.

  2. kaufmansw said

    After reading your post, it’s scary how similarly we interpreted this reading. The price tag really stuck out to me as well as the “SUBSCRIBE” link after videos. It’s crazy to think about what people will do for commercial gain and who they will step on to get there.

    • jacobkaraglanis said

      I too enjoyed how you mentioned the wine bottle tag in this posting. I also find it funny how that does not translate to online products such as posting ads and “SUBSCRIBE” on videos. The online creators don’t want to take their tags off just for pure enjoyment. They want any profit or benefit that they can receive.

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