Cultural Appropriation - What is it? Is it the right term?

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Gwazi Magnum, Feb 22, 2016.

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  1. Basically a thread to avoid Interracial Dating from getting off topic.

    Note this is a continued discussion as a result, if you want to see the OP that started this click here.
    By this definition, I appropriate Orange Juice from my parents on a daily basis. :P
    I know, not what you meant but I couldn't resist.
    I need to ask though, what constitutes as a culture's permission?

    A culture is going to have millions of people inside of it.
    This also looks like a disagreement in semantic's.
    We both agree people mis-representing cultures should try to be taught, we're just have different levels of willingness as to call it appropriating or not.
    Ok. But if we point back to the definition you provided though "the action of taking something for one's own use, typically without the owner's permission" it doesn't have anything directly about information. It falls down to permission.

    Now granted, a lack of information would definitely influence if permission is given. But it still beg's the question as to how can we determine when a culture gives permission or not?
    Well I will say I'm glad to finally hear, for the first time someone using the term that isn't simply saying "Your Race dictates you shall not do ______!". :)

    And once again this looks like a Semantic's disagreement, not a disagreement on how to address a problem.
    Do you know what my culture/background is? :P
    Which is also what I said (minus appropriation) in the earlier thread. So this is another Semantics disagreement.
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  2. That would help, thanks. :)
  3. I already did a thread about this remember? If we're going by the actual meaning of appropriation, then aren't we appropriating Irish culture by celebrating St. Patrick's Day or appropriating Japanese culture by playing video games, reading manga, and watching anime? Asking for a culture's permission is ludicrous because on the individual level there are people who could care less about cultural symbols being used in different ways. I don't remember anyone bitching about Shiva being misused in the Final Fantasy series.

    Also race doesn't equal culture.
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  4. Oh, @govangogh and @Dervish also had posts in that conversation. Would you guys like your posts moved?
  5. Oh, god-fucking-damnit.
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  6. Yes, but that's an old one now. And the topic was coming up again, so it seemed to warrant looking over again.
    Or at the very least, re-direct to another thread so your Inter-Racial Marriage one didn't get off topic.
    Basically my own stance on the matter. :P
    But, others were saying differently and talking about why.
    Hence why I needed to make the thread.
  7. Hey, repeat topics are allowed. It's bound to happen that topics are recycled!

    Also for the record, I have Irish heritage and I think the way a lot of Americans celebrate St. Paddy's is obnoxious as fuck. In my family, we actually talked about our ancestry and Irish history on the day. I have fond memories of helping my mother bake soda farls. No green beer involved; if anything, mum had a Guinness. :P By all means though, everyone is free to go out and make themselves look like tools for not having a drop of Irish blood and getting hammered on food-colored piss.
  8. This sounds good, what are these? :3
  9. @Astaroth I'd prefer you didn't, honestly.

    @Gwazi What are your own answers to your question? This thread poses a semantic question. What is your definition, your right term?

    If you're arguing that word appropriation is unfit, then suggest something else.

    You seem to reject my definition of cultural appropriation, and then say that I defined it as something other than how I defined it.

    Cultural Appropriation is when one culture takes from a another culture.

    Typically, it is mentioned when the thing is taken without the cultures "permission". Or, in similar vein, when something is taken and used without an understanding or respect for its origins and cultural background.

    @govangogh Made the important point that cultural appropriation being especially problematic when one culture benefits of a culture without experiencing any of the discrimination faced by members of that culture. This has no bearing on this now semantic discussion, but I feel like it's important to restate.
  10. Delicious little flat breadcakes made with baking soda and buttermilk.


    Alrighty, I'll leave 'em where they are.
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  11. What is it?

    Dictionary Version: "A term used to describe the taking over of creative or artistic forms, themes, or practices by one cultural group from another. It is in general used to describe Western appropriations of non‐Western or non‐white forms, and carries connotations of exploitation and dominance."

    Cultural Adaptation*: An accusation used against people of certain races/demographics (generally those seemed to be privileged) as a means of preventing them from adopting, liking, appreciating or learning about other cultures. Usually seen from the Accuser as a way of preserving other cultures from those outside of it.

    *What Society usually means by it when used in day-to-day conversation.

    Is it the Right Term?

    Dictionary wise? Well, I'd be a fool to claim the dictionary is wrong with a words official definition.
    Culturally? Considering it's my current position, I do currently view it as right. But there's a difference between what I view to be right, and what is actually right.

    Note this question was more just a general "Let us figure it out", not for people to simply say their opinion is right, cause that'd be counter-productive.
    I disagreed with it.

    And I'm not sure where you're saying I'm claiming you're saying something different.
    What I have said is that I agree with how you think people to address ignorance of cultures, but I'm not as quick to call it appropriation.

    Basically, I agree with the methods (for the most part), but not the terminology you're assigning to it.
    I will agree it is a double standard for some people to be able to practice a culture fine, and others to have discrimination for it...
    But wouldn't it then be better for us to work towards getting those people discriminated for it more accepted for it?

    Rather than getting mad that other people aren't dealing with the same problem?
    That perspective just seems to more reflect if during MLK's movement he chose to focus on "White people can vote" rather than "Black people can't vote".
  12. Er, wait, we're going here? Alright, I guess.

    First, definition. I know, Wikipedia is not the greatest source, but, hot damn. Google vomited the worst possible ideas for sources as a definition, so, here we go.

    "Cultural appropriation is the adoption or use of elements of one culture by members of a different culture.[1] Cultural appropriation is seen by some as controversial, notably when elements of a minority culture are used by members of the cultural majority; this is seen as wrongfully oppressing the minority culture or stripping it of its group identity and intellectual property rights.[2][3][4][5] This view of cultural appropriation is sometimes termed "cultural misappropriation."[2][5] According to authors in the field, cultural (mis)appropriation differs from acculturation or assimilation in that the "appropriation" or "misappropriation" refers to the adoption of these cultural elements in a colonial manner: elements are copied from a minority culture by members of the dominant culture, and these elements are used outside of their original cultural context—sometimes even against the expressed, stated wishes of representatives of the originating culture."

    Alright. Term is now appropriately defined. I can now attempt to tackle the topic.

    On the one hand, I do get why people would be upset when others enter their intellectual spaces and attempt to pollute and/or forcefully change, and/or purport to represent such intellectual spaces without having any particular clue as to what those spaces actually mean to you. Especially if the end objective or result ends up being that the original proprietors of an idea are left to the wayside and forgotten by those who stole the idea in question. Fuck, I'm a writer, I'd get pissed off to all hell if someone stole Legend of Renalta and made millions off of it without my permission. I can't imagine it being particularly easy to tolerate such practices on the level of mass collectives.

    On the other hand, I also completely understand the necessity of being able to take the ideas of others and reincorporate them to try new and different things. To take a cultural idea, motif, fashion style, or otherwise, from another group--big or small--allows you to grow your own world view, and explore your own personhood. I'm fond of a term the Japanese coined, called "Shikata Ga Nai", which translates loosely to "it can't be helped." It's used to rationalize irritating or awful events which happen to you, which you have no control over. Stuck in a long line? It can't be helped. Your house got destroyed by a tsunami? It can't be helped. Move on. Survive. I like this motif, it's part of how I view the world, and it originally came from another culture, which I happily pilfered and adopted into my own personal world view.

    So, hm.

    I don't know. I tend to dislike the concept, but I understand where it's coming from. I prefer that individuals be free to explore who and what they are without having entire sections of fashion, ideas, or otherwise, restricted from them due to their circumstances of birth. Or, to be accused of the evil of being intellectually curious about other groups, and adoptive of their practices. I think it's right to point out where a practice originated from, a cultural idea, an intellectual idea--whatever it may be, feel free to point out from which group it came. Being wise of history is a way to avoid repeating its mistakes, after all, and credit should go to where it is due. However, where I would draw the line, is bullying someone because they adopted a "culturally appropriating" hairstyle from another group. Or, attempting to imply someone is of disturbed or disgusting character, as a result of engaging in a practice of a minority as a majority.

    You know how you skewer cultural divides that create class structures which result in victims and their oppressors? You know how you create exchanges? Advance and grow a culture to become more inclusive, more interesting, and more rich in tradition?

    You let people cross those divides.

    It's what multiculturalism is all about.
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  13. I'm pretty sure cultural appropriations as I've seen it isn't enjoying sushi at a restaurant or exploring another culture's fabric choice and more putting a native american war bonnet on a naked white girl. In this context a war bonnet is really important to certain native cultures and inherently implies extreme self sacrifice for the benefit of the community. It's also used for males. Using it as a random fashion design choice in a sexy, wild context disregards any meaning that there was supposed to be and replacing it for the convenience and aesthetic choices of a dominant culture.

    I'll be honest I'm not sure what to call things like that if cultural appropriation isn't it. Being rude?
  14. This thread is a new level of stupid
  15. I'm inclined to agree.
    But if the thread wasn't made it would continue in the other thread... Which is still going rather well.
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