Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

Reappraising the Residual Pt.2

Posted by tristendenney14 on February 20, 2017

When I sat down to read Chapter 2, titled “Reappraising the Residual”, I had absolutely no idea what to expect. Considering Chapter 1 covered “Where Web 2.0 Went Wrong” and how media developed into what it is today, I did not understand how this would tie into Chapter 2. But, after I examined the examples and major ideas, I now understand the relationship between the two. For example, I feel a large part of Chapter 2 relates to one’s feelings or a culture’s “appraisal” and residual feelings about certain objects or ideas. This is first seen when Spreadable Media discusses the different systems of appraisal, with examples like Antiques Roadshow or eBay. Certain systems prefer sentimental value over actual worth, but sites like eBay focus on the true worth of an item because not only does the seller make money off selling an item, but eBay does as well. This type of business model is also seen through the video streaming website YouTube. Though this service is “free” for personal use, YouTube is ultimately going to make money, whether this use is for educational purposes or personal enjoyment. This is where I feel this chapter relates back to Chapter 1 and “Where Web 2.0 Went Wrong.” Although businesses and large corporations are beginning to “listen” to consumers, they are ultimately doing what is best for them monetarily. Though there are exceptions like the idea of steampunking and making something out of nothing, society is founded on the principles of making a profit. One of the last examples occurs in the “Residual Economics” section of Chapter 2. The main topic of this section was Scooby-Doo and how this show was so influential to many different generations, but what was the ultimate goal of the television network airing this show? Spreadable Media states it the best by saying, “While several groups may equally value Scooby-Doo, those groups are not equally valued by television-network or advertising executives” (106). I love this quote because it is so true in today’s society. Just about all business today is only focused on making money. Therefore, to effectively “reappraise the residual”, we must forget about the monetary value and focus on the consumer or audience’s ideas and thoughts.

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