Cultural Appropriation : A Victim Of Society Essay

Cultural Appropriation : A Victim Of Society Essay

Length: 1113 words (3.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Cultural Appropriation: A Victim of Society
As society changes, issues emerge or evolve from pre-existing controversies. However, the underlying problem often remains the same. Cultural appropriation is one of the many social injustices that has been shaped by the change of society, but continues to exist today as a result of a similar set of issues found throughout history. In the past, appropriation attacked explicit crimes such as blackfacing or ethnological expositions (eg. forcing Natives into cages for display) (Cathy, 2015); however, in modern day, appropriation is not as clear and definite. Today, much of the criticisms are directed towards artists who have touched upon a culture other than their own, despite how knowledgeable and appreciative they are of that cultural element (Cathy, 2015). Even museums, such as the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, received backlash from the public for being oblivious to the racists messages displayed in their projects (Boffetta, 2015). Among these acts of resistance, activists seem to be driven by the idea that a culture belongs to only one community (Yo, 2015), stirring debates on culture and ownership. Similar to other social issues, as cultural appropriation enters the peak of its momentum, activists begin to lose sight of basic ideas and purposes. Fueled by their anger towards discrimination, they are quick to identify anything that seems racist. In terms of cultural appropriation, although the act itself does not exhibit discriminatory behavior, it is labeled as racist due to its involvement with unjust social norms. As it is manipulated by the dominant group of a society, the other groups are mistreated, causing their political and economical unrest. Thus, the fault in cultural ap...

... middle of paper ...

..., genres, etc. are the absolute and only representations of a civilization (Yo, 2015). However, cultures and identities are created through interactions and relationships, and are not “homogeneous, static, or timeless” (Coombe, 1993). In fact, Rogers suggests that culture itself is not just something that appropriates, but is established through appropriations (2006). According to the concept of transculturation and the dynamic nature of civilization, there should be no ownership in regards of culture (Yo, 2015): “ [...] cultural elements created from and/or by multiple cultures [influence the definition of culture], such that identification of a single originating culture is problematic [...]” (Rogers, 2006). With the argument that civilization is the product of change, it is illogical to refute cultural appropriation for the reason of maintaining a constant culture.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Cultural Appropriation And The Appropriation Of A Culture Essay

- When I was 12 I dressed up as a gypsy; traditional dress, dark eyeshadow, rosy pink cheeks, black eyeliner, and gold jewelry everywhere. Naively my intention was to wear a costume that was fun to wear and also made me feel as free as a “wanderlust gypsy”. It was only years later that I came to realize how little I knew about the hardships my costume really represented. Gypsies were not filled with a great desire to travel rather they had no choice but to move in attempts to flee for their lives....   [tags: Black people, United Kingdom, Affirmative action]

Better Essays
1250 words (3.6 pages)

Mass Marketing and Cultural Appropriation Essay

- ... Cultural exchange must always be mutually made, between two different cultures (Uwujaren). The key is common understanding and equality (Uwujaren). It is one’s personal responsibility to, listen to those of marginalized cultures, comprehend the blatant and subtle ways their culture has been appropriated, and educate themselves on the proper ways to engage with these cultures (Uwujaren). As a result of appropriation, marginalized cultures face the bitter end. There is a history of viewing people of different cultures as exotic, uncivilized, barbaric, savage, and worthy of ridicule (“Culture Clash”)....   [tags: reducing cultural artifacts to mere aesthetics]

Better Essays
1718 words (4.9 pages)

Cultural Appropriation Of Minority Cultures Essay example

- A common theme seen in the Grand Narratives of many westernized cultures is the cultural appropriation of minority cultures. This begs the question of why do these dominant cultures with such ethnocentric self-identities build themselves based off of the many traits of other cultures that they oppress; as well as what effect this might have on intercultural communication. By looking at the following articles I found they show a strong understanding of a Grand Narrative and its effects, how and who dominate cultures have oppressed over years of building their own cultures as well as what they have borrowed from these cultures and incorporated within their own....   [tags: Culture, Cross-cultural communication, The Culture]

Better Essays
1126 words (3.2 pages)

Cultural Appropriation Vs. Multiculturalism Essay example

- Cultural Appropriation versus Multiculturalism In todays society there are many different cultures that individuals identify with. Culture is very important to many people and is something that helps define who we are. When different cultures are respected and appreciated it is a beautiful thing, it can bring individuals in society closer to one another. Ideally this understanding of one another’s cultures can lead to multiculturalism. If the appreciation for different cultures is not done correctly it can seem to be cultural appropriation....   [tags: Culture, The Culture, Cultural assimilation]

Better Essays
1108 words (3.2 pages)

Cultural Appropriation And The Appropriation Of A Culture Essay

- When I was 12 years old I dressed up as a gypsy; traditional dress, dark eyeshadow, rosy pink cheeks, black eyeliner, and gold jewelry everywhere. Naively my intention was to dress up in a costume that was fun to wear and also made me feel as free as a “wanderlust gypsy”. It was only years later that I came to realize how little I knew about the actual hardships my costume represented. Gypsies were not filled with a great desire to travel, rather they had no choice but to move in constant attempts to flee for their lives....   [tags: Black people, United Kingdom, Culture]

Better Essays
1272 words (3.6 pages)

Cultural Appropriation And Racial Appropriation Essay

- In early childhood, most of the world’s children are taught that stealing is wrong. Don’t take what belongs to someone else because they have probably worked for their belongings. What is especially taboo is stealing and getting praised for the thing stolen. Essentially that is the basis of cultural appropriation. Cultural appropriation is done by the victors in history to the victims in a way that marginalizes their culture. It takes certain aspects of the culture that have deep traditional meaning and puts it for everyday use in order to be edgy or fashionable....   [tags: Hip hop music, African American, Black people]

Better Essays
1796 words (5.1 pages)

Musical Appropriation And Cultural Appropriation Essay

- Music is something everyone listens to and connects with on a daily basis while cultural appropriation in its own right is not exactly something new; especially when talking to minorities across the world. But musical appropriation is rarely talked about as much as cultural appropriation as a whole, because it is often perceived as a byproduct of cultural awareness instead of an issue of cultural appropriation. Music in one form or another has been a part of multiple cultures since before modern societies were even in place and a reality (Einstein 7)....   [tags: United States, Hawaii, Jazz, Culture]

Better Essays
1237 words (3.5 pages)

Cultural Appropriation And Its Effects On Society Essays

- In our new age, social media-strained society, you will find different artists expressing their ideas on a controversial topic. One of the controversial topics is Cultural Appropriation. Cultural Appropriation is a “sociological concept which views the adoption of the use of elements of one culture by members of a different culture as a largely negative phenomenon (James Young).” Consequently, many see it as an appreciation of a culture, while others feel it is a degradation of one. However, cultural appropriation should not be used as fashion, or blatant ignorance without knowledge of the culture first hand....   [tags: White people, Black people, Race, South Africa]

Better Essays
2129 words (6.1 pages)

Essay about Cultural Appropriation And Its Impact On Society

- Everyone has opinions in life, either these being conscious or not, either it being the person down the street, or on the other side of the Earth. Opinions shape our everyday lives from us doing a homework assignment given to us, to procrastinating on said homework assignment until the last minute, or simply just blowing off the assignment and not doing it for whatever reason. Opinions and beliefs ranging from politics, religion, and the appropriation of culture can change wildly from the bustling streets of liberal Seattle, to the small conservative towns in Montana....   [tags: Culture, The Culture, Human]

Better Essays
842 words (2.4 pages)

Cultural Appropriation Is Ok With U.s. Essay

- Cultural Appropriation Is Ok With U.S. The Twilight Zone aired an episode in 1960 called The Four of Us Are Dying. The episode follows a con man capable of changing his appearance by merely looking at the person he wants to become. His whole life he has slipped by, without a conscience, using his ‘talent’ to mold into other established people’s lives. He takes advantage of his ability and finds ways to rob his victims of their identities, fame, and personal acquaintances. In today’s pop culture, especially pop music, this flagrant disrespect for culture and counterfeiting of style are diminishing the credibility of many popular artists....   [tags: Culture, White people, Racism, Vanilla Ice]

Better Essays
879 words (2.5 pages)