“The Closed-World Principle”: Corporations and the Metaculture of Newness via Oldness
AbstractAlthough many corporations make claims about the newness of their products in order to make the public interested in purchasing them, not all of them make the same kind of claims. Whereas previous studies have highlighted claims to newness that are based on emphasizing the newness of almost all the parts of new products in relation to the parts of those products’ previous versions, I highlight claims to newness that are based on emphasizing the oldness of the parts of new products in relation to the parts of those products’ previous versions. These two distinct kinds of claims are patterned after two diametrically opposed normative ideals of newness that have a specific intellectual history in the modern west. This history and its contemporary instantiations have implications for the study of the motion of culture in general, and of the mechanisms that propel it in the corporate world in particular.
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