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Consumed Nostalgia: Memory in the Age of Fast Capitalism

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... In recent years, there has been an explosion of media texts and products that are considered 'nostalgic' given that they portray the past romantically and with aesthetic finesse (Hamilton & Wagner, 2014;Singh, Sharma & Kumar, 2020). This explosion has been called a 'nostalgia wave' or a 'nostalgic boom' (Ewen, 2020;Lowenthal, 2015;Niemeyer, 2014) and has been deemed to be the outcome of a 'nostalgia market' (Cross, 2015) or a 'nostalgia industry' (Hassler-Forest, 2020). For Holdsworth (2011, p. 97), nostalgia makes "economic good sense" inasmuch it can be used to attract audiences and consumers by alluding to previous happy experiences of consumption. ...
... Although it revives 'superseded' tendencies, the presence of nostalgia is palpable in contemporary society. From media texts to populist movements, the past is constantly summoned in public discourse as a way to make sense of current problems and social issues (Ana, 2020;Cross, 2015;Davis, 1977;Holdsworth, 2011;Lammers & Baldwin, 2020). A dissatisfaction and frustration towards the present signal distinct causes, effects and mediations. ...
... The Swiss doctor Johannes Hofer brought to life the concept of nostalgia in 1688 with the study of the pain that is the consequence of the desire to return to a person's home (Cross, 2015;Gandini, 2020;Natali, 2004, p. 10). The term was a combination of the Greek words nostos, meaning 'return home', and algos, meaning a painful condition (Boym, 2001;Lizardi, 2015;Pickering & Keightley, 2006). ...
Thesis
In this thesis, I analyse how young audiences engage with nostalgic media texts. In recent years, from remakes or reboots to media texts set in previous decades, nostalgia has become a key ingredient of recent media production. Hence, I address two specific research questions: 1) how do young audiences interpret the past represented in nostalgic media texts; and 2) how do the national context and social identities of young audiences mediate their engagement with nostalgic media texts? For this, I conducted a media consumption habits survey, 13 focus group discussions, and 35 paired interviews in one private and one public secondary education school in Costa Rica. My intention is to explore the reception of nostalgic media texts in a nation of the Global South in which the past has recently generated political and social tensions. Thus, I first argue that these young audiences interpret the past represented in nostalgic media texts through an aestheticisation of the past and by employing a particular nostalgic social imaginary. Following textual cues and national discourses, these young people idealise the styles of the past but exhibit a critical awareness in terms of some social tensions of previous decades. Then, I argue that nostalgia is a structure of feeling which emerges from an unsatisfying present. By exploring the social identities of the participants, I discuss how nostalgia is differently articulated depending on the social position of these young people. I identify how the students from the private school experience an aesthetic nostalgia, based on the romanticisation of the styles of the past but characterised by an optimistic appraisal of the future, and how the students from the public school experience a material nostalgia, an idealisation of the past derived from daily experiences of economic deprivation and the expectation of a precarious future.
... And in the case of infrastructure, small cities are primarily meant for their residents and have plenty residential buildings but lack of tourist accommodation buildings. The article attempts to reflect on specific contemporary form of "consumed nostalgia" (Cross, 2015) that is characteristic of the era of modern consumer society and offer an example of how its potential could be employed in tourism, particular in small urban environments with significant implications of preserving abandoned properties and thus existing architectural and cultural heritage. An analysis of Vintage Vila accommodation facility that is located in small city of Brežice, Slovenia, was conducted in order to acquaint the potential of a specific form of nostalgia tourism. ...
... Nostalgia is viewed as a personal drive to remember and once again experience past feelings, emotions, smells, tastes, sounds... The paper reflects on the contemporary form of "consumed nostalgia" as defined by Cross (2015) that took shape in the 1970s due to an increase in the turnover of consumer goods, the widespread trend towards the commercialization of childhood, and proficient marketing of nostalgic feelings. We argue that the cultural dynamics of consumed nostalgia could be of particular significance to modern tourism due to the attempt to evoke unique individual experiences. ...
... Besides the connections between modernity and nostalgia, highlighted by many scholars and thus regarded as a "scholarly common sense" 1 , we suggest that our understanding of contemporary nature of nostalgia needs to be more complex. We turn to Cross (2015) and his concept of "consumed nostalgia", a contemporary form of nostalgia that stems from characteristics of modern consumer society. Cross argues that nostalgia in fast capitalism is not what it used to be. ...
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Small urban environments face many issues in tourism; for example, how to position themselves in contrast to the larger cities and how to provide adequate tourist facilities for their guests. In the case of positioning, they have to choose something different and attractive. And in the case of infrastructure, small cities are primarily meant for their residents and have plenty residential buildings but lack of tourist accommodation buildings. The article attempts to reflect on specific contemporary form of “consumed nostalgia” (
... Diante deste contexto, emerge o que Cross (2015) vai chamar de consumed nostalgia, o consumo nostálgico, um extenso conjunto de práticas conectadas com o capitalismo tardio e uma de suas expressões mais potentes: a forma acelerada e intensa de acesso à cultura de mercadorias. Isso implica no ritmo cada vez mais rápido de produção, compra e investimento em bens de consumo, que resultou em um fenômeno distinto: se as pessoas encontraram identidade e significado em bens específicos, diante da obsolência acelerada, "sentiram que suas personalidades eram ameaçadas quando essas coisas desapareceram [...] o impulso nostálgico veio do desejo de recuperá-las" 8 (CROSS, 2015, p. 9, tradução nossa). ...
... Diante deste contexto, o museu, como equipamento cultural, se firma como uma das possíveis sedes para este sensível social, e se erige não mais como "templo das musas, mas sim orientados à ressurreição, como um espaço híbrido entre a feira pública e a loja de departamentos" (HUYSSEN, 1996, p. 15). Segundo Cross (2015), 95% destes equipamentos culturais datam da pós-segunda guerra, o que fortifica o argumento de que o museu emerge como um sintoma de certo fetiche pela memória. Antes bastião da alta cultura, hoje parte deles frequentemente participam das leis do sistema midiático e econômico; se transnacionalizam, rivalizam em gigantismo, arquitetura inovadora, imagem e impacto. ...
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Neste artigo, analisamos, através do exemplo da exposição Nirvana: Taking Punk To The Masses, a corrente dos heritage studies, nomeadamente as questões relativas à institucionalização, patrimonialização e museificação da música popular. De que modo gêneros e bandas musicais, como o punk ou o grunge, são apropriados e sofrem o processo de museulização? Como a ênfase preservacionista e nostálgica se coadunam com a posição crítica e o ethos transformador desses gêneros musicais? O que sublinhamos, portanto, é a possibilidade da exposição denotar uma possível tensão entre a passagem de gêneros underground para as formas de patrimônio cultural mainstream.
... Genetic ancestry GAT companies emerging in the late 1990s (Nash 2017), are among the latest additions of marketed pursuits of the past to be consumed (Cross 2015;Sierra and McQuitty 2007;Salmose 2019), visited (Alexander, Bryce, and Murdy 2017;Murdy, Alexander, and Bryce 2018), or preserved/revitalized/discovered (Bennett 2018). These pursuits include historical media (e.g. ...
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History can be described as a story, or narrative reporting on past events to create meaning and explanation for the present/future. Narratives of genetic history are presented in the genetic ancestry testing (GAT) results specifically maps, percentages, and related information to consumers expecting “answers” related to identity and belonging. Engaging in thematic narrative analysis I ask how GAT results’ narratives use ethnicity/race/nationality to categorize sameness/difference and what these narratives inform about group boundaries through the comparison of online result materials received from four GAT companies: 23andMe, Ancestry, MyHeritage, and FamilyTreeDNA. These results are presented as an in-between space where bio-historic-cultural contents are negotiated with previous knowledge/experiences. This study found results narrate dichotomies of “self” and others, individual and collective, personal and private, and the present and the historical, and serves to highlight problematic perceptions of genetics history as an essential/unchanging product, reducing and ignoring diversity within and moving between groups.
... Thus, as Wilson (2015, p. 490) suggests, 'nostalgia is not a mere passive longing for the past, but a potentially dynamic vehicle for (re)envisioning and (re)creating various pasts and futures'. Thinking critically about nostalgia, then, also involves attempting to understand the conditions under which 'communities of nostalgia' are formed (Cross, 2015) and how these can involve both personal and collective memories on past cultural practices. ...
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The reappearance of VHS skateboarding movies produced during the 1990s on YouTube presents a timely opportunity to examine how the subcultural identities of former skateboarders are reassessed in later life. Drawing on subcultural studies and theories of mediated memory, this article analyses comments made by viewers of YouTube re-postings of 411 Video Magazine, an era-defining skateboard movie series of the 1990s. The analysis suggests that re-viewing content of once cherished VHS tapes affords former skaters a nostalgic moment of reconnection with their youth involving a combination of three forms of nostalgia: subcultural nostalgia, biographical nostalgia, and format nostalgia. For many viewers, re-viewing skate videos retrospectively recognizes the formative role skateboarding played in shaping their identity and also allows an appraisal of both the past subcultural formation and the media format through which its values were expressed and communicated.
... Thus, shoppers "may escape the dominant order without leaving it" (Berdahl, 1999, p. 206). Elderly shoppers, in particular, actively seek refuge in certain retail places and shopping geographies where they can establish continuity in times of drastic transformation (Cross, 2015) since memories are always place-bound and since they find stability in places (Casey, 2000, p. 186, see also Degen & Rose, 2012). In such an equation, services and goods become mnemonics too (cf. ...
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During recent decades, shopping’s geographical manifestations have altered radically and the presumed ‘death’ of town centre retailing has become a public concern. The social, cultural, and economic backgrounds of this decentralisation of retail and its effects on city life have been studied comprehensively. However, to date, few studies have examined the changing dynamics of non-mainstream shopping geographies, particularly local shopping streets. How shopping is enacted in such places, and shopping’s part in shaping them, has been largely overlooked. Aspiring to fulfil this knowledge gap, this dissertation examines shopping activities on Södergatan, a local shopping street in a stigmatized ‘super-diverse’ district of Helsingborg, Sweden known as Söder, and contributes to the literature on shopping geographies by drawing on a sociocultural perspective. The study draws on practice theory and focuses on shopping as the main unit. The analysis is built on a sensitivity to the interrelationships existing between social practices and place, emerging from the epistemic positioning resulting from the identification of 'modes of practices'. In order to grasp the enmeshed character of shopping, which is complicated by cultural, spatial, temporal, material, and sensorial layers, video ethnography was employed as the primary research collection method, in combination with go-along interviews, observation and mental-mapping. The research reveals five major modes of shopping practice which jointly represent a typology for understanding shopping in terms of being enacted in the street; i.e. convenience shopping, social shopping, on-the-side shopping, alternative shopping, and budget shopping. This thesis also shows that the bundling of these modes of shopping shapes the street into a vibrant part of the city by interrelating with the shopping street’s sensomaterial and spatiotemporal dimensions in complex and multifaceted directions. Consequently, the local shopping street is conceptualized as a praxitopia, a place co-constituted through social practices.
... La omnipresencia del pasado en la fi cción audiovisual a través de diversos soportes tecnológicos es parte de una compleja tendencia vinculada, por un lado, a "historizar la fi cción" (Buonanno, 2010) y por otro, ligada a una rentable manera de explotar el deseo de "re-vivir" un pasado cercano (Dwyer, 2015), Cross (2015) llamó a este fenómeno "nuestra cultura nostálgica de novedad", que puede igualmente entenderse como la necesidad o anhelo de convertir en nuevo aquello que ya no lo es. Desde un ángulo diferente identifi ca que el auge de productos de contenido histórico está sostenido por una superposición de lo empresarial y lo tecnológico, donde dichos contenidos son rentables en diferentes órdenes debido a la preferencia de los consumidores. ...
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Desde hace algunos años, las plataformas de svod han apostado por pro- ducir series sobre el tema del narcotráfico. En este trabajo se analiza la representación de “El Chapo” en la serie del mismo nombre exhibida en Netflix, a través de la narrativa transmedia (storytelling) compartida en la Fan Page así como la interactividad de la audiencia y cómo representa ésta la figura de “El Chapo”.
... Músicas, referências e objetos da década de 1980 funcionam como "gatilhos" capazes de ativar a nostalgia como um eixo de sentido que afeta sensivelmente as audiências. Considerando este sentimento que, na atualidade, se relaciona diretamente com as dimensões do tempo, do espaço e do consumo (CROSS, 2015;JAMESON, 1991;NIEMEYER;WENTZ, 2014), é perceptível como este público é saudosista e possui um capital simbólico e cultural detalhado e específico (JAMESON, 1991). Assim, faz sentido que as obras referenciadas sejam sucessos de crítica e público, que tenham conquistado ao longo dos anos o status de cult: um tipo de filme (ou conteúdo midiático) que possui um público relativamente pequeno, mas fiel (CASTELLANO, 2014). ...
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A complexidade das narrativas afetivas reverberou a produção audiovisual contemporânea com o adjunto da internet. A atual ecologia comunicativa possibilita uma troca multidirecional e polivalente dos emissores, produtores e receptores que se misturam e culminam funções não mais separatistas em tal habitat. A TV se alimenta dos insumos recolhidos pela web na construção participativa de seus programas. Em estudo, o reality show e sua exibição diária como fomento de participação; por outro lado, expandindo-se da linguagem televisiva, as séries originais Netflix habitam exclusivamente a internet e conseguem, via participação de seus espectadores/internautas, emergir uma dinâmica participativa que enriquece essa teia afetiva digital. Para tanto equiparamos as produções da 18ª edição Big Brother Brasil e da série 3% - Três Por Cento, ressaltando as confluências que surgem ora pela demanda dos fãs, ora por estratégias comunicativas, de modo que evidenciam o que é proporcionado pelos mesmos nessas inter-relações.
... Ältere Medien aus der eigenen Medienbiografie stehen dabei für eine Zeit, in welcher diese positiven Medienerfahrungen gemacht wurden, die häufigauch identitätSprägenden Einfluss hatten. Dabei sind solche Medienerfahrungen aber gerade nicht nur auf die persönliche Vergangenheit beschränkt, sondern stellen kollektive Identität zwischen Menschen her, die ähnliche Erfahrun- gen mit den Medien >ihrer< Zeit gemacht haben (uOLIN 2017;CRoss 2015). ...
Chapter
Wie gehen Menschen in spätmodernen Gesellschaften mit Wandel um? Dieser Frage widmet sich der vorliegende Beitrag anhand des Phänomens der Nostalgie. Dafür wird vorab geklärt, welche Dynamiken der Moderne das Leben in heutigen spätmodernen Gesellschaften prägen und Einfluss darauf haben, ob es als gut oder schlecht empfunden wird und welchen Stellenwert Medien dabei einnehmen. Im Fokus stehen hier in einer Akteursperspektive die Wahrnehmung von Wandel und der Umgang mit auf ihn zurückgehenden Verlusterfahrungen im lebensweltlichen Alltag von Menschen. Mit Nostalgie als gesellschaftlichem Phänomen rückt dabei eine besondere Form des affektiven Umgangs mit Wandel in den Mittelpunkt des Erkenntnisinteresses. Sie wird am Beispiel des mediennostalgischen Umgangs mit Medienwandel in digitalen Erinnerungsgemeinschaften empirisch beleuchtet.
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For the book «Speaking of Life. Biography in History, Sociology and Art (2009-22) & «From Biographies to Remembrance in Europe» (2021-22)
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Thesis
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