Nostalgia Is a Thing of the Past

Ashley Chang

Section: Barbara Adams

Title: Nostalgia Is a Thing of the Past

Thesis: Entertainment doesn’t need Nostalgia, a sentimental longing for the past, to target their consumers any longer. As Arjun Appadurai mentions in his book Modernity at Large, “the past is now not a land to return to in a simple politics of memory, [but instead] a synchronic warehouse of cultural scenarios… which resources can be taken as appropriate (30).” With how fast the times are changing, the marketers are targeting New Generations that have never seen or heard of the things of the past and to them it’s all brand new.  I want to explore the difference between the Newer Generation and the Older Generation’s emotional attachment and reaction, and the effect past entertainments had on both Generations.

5 Keywords: Nostalgia, Past, Consumerism, Entertainment, and the Old & New Generation

Theoretical Overview:

Examples in Modernity at Large by Arjun Appadurai (pages 30, 31)

-Paul McCartney is selling the Beatles to a new audience for a new feel of music.

-Batman and Mission Impossible all dressed up technologically, but remarkably faithful to the atmospherics of their originals.

-in movies made now a days, producers just take out part of the past that they need for the scene, don’t need to give more information about the whole story.

Methodology: For this project I want to write a paper on it putting in different statistics and tests done comparing the Old and New generation. I think the different reactions and effects the different entertainment had on each of the generations will be interesting to note. Also the different cultures that they live now might make certain type of music or movie more acceptable now than in the past.


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3 Responses to Nostalgia Is a Thing of the Past

  1. leey246 says:

    I always had this thing about nostalgia. We are nostalgic of something after it happens and often when some time passes. I have a friend who is about ten years older than me but when we talk to each other, we don’t realize that we have huge gap between us but when we talk about a show, or an object of the past that is now forgotten, like walkman or group of singers, we feel that distance and my friend becomes nostalgic of that moment but for me, I don’t since I did not live through that generation. I think this is a quite interesting topic since there gap between different generations and we often feel that gap through objects.

  2. parsonseli says:

    Bringing the lens of ‘nostalgia’ to this argument is a effective tool to measure the differences between generations. However I think your argument will be more convincing if you focus on a certain sect of entertainment or method of advertising marketing. It would also be useful to specify what exactly are the constraints of the ‘ages’ of the old and new generation. One thing that came to mind on the topic of nostalgia and artifacts for the past and how this effects behavior is the Cd player. Before when you bought an album that is all you could carry around at that time. Forcing you in to a focused exploration of that one artists – also many times listening to the whole album through non stop. Now with the abundance of digital music files on our modern MP3 players we rapidly switch between artists, songs, ad genres. Has this made us loose sight / appreciation for a full concept of an artists vision. This concept as just described through the lens of an artifact is fascinating and makes me excited about your topic.

  3. krystsinas says:

    I find Appadurai’s idea of ‘nostalgia without memory’ (nostalgia as a subjective feeling dealing with memory, longing and escapism vs. nostalgia as an artificial construct specifically created to promote and sell goods) extremely fascinating and would love to know more about the inner mechanisms/ driving forces for this concept (ex. how and why consumers ‘buy’ the idea, though they have no memories or associations with the ‘past for sale’; does it have to do somehow with social bifurcation and ideas of elite, prestige, access to knowledge and social status; does that ‘new audience’ buys the Beatles because the media convinced them that they will be ‘cooler’ if they pretended to have association with that particular past though they actually don’t, etc.)

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