Cultural appropriation

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Postby ArmyOfMe » Sat Jan 30, 2016 8:10 pm

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Wikipedia wrote:Cultural appropriation is the adoption or use of elements of one culture by members of a different culture. 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.
So, I'm opening this thread since I thought it could be a nice debate to have on here. Yesterday I was talking with this friend of mine and I used an expression borrowed from black subculture (without even knowing), to which my friend replied that I was making "cultural appropriation". It seemed a bit too much of an accuse, but we started discussing that, if there are instances of cultural appropriation that are not offensive, etc.. For instance, my straight friends who are close to me started using "gay" jargon and I don't feel offended at all, since I perceive them as part of my culture (sort of queer, let's put it that way), which should be a culture of inclusiveness IMO.

I can't speak for back people (indeed I would like some black users' opinion about this :D ), but as a gay man I don't feel like it always means exploitation.

What do you guys think?
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Postby toxicALIENS » Sat Jan 30, 2016 8:18 pm

Prepare for the mess Zoran ;)
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Postby Carbon » Sat Jan 30, 2016 8:23 pm

there's already a thread about it I think

when people yell cultural appropriation one part of me is all liberal and supportive, but another part of me is just like oh stfu :lol: I'm divided on this tbh, sometimes I agree, sometimes I think it's exaggeration
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Postby ArmyOfMe » Sat Jan 30, 2016 8:24 pm

toxicALIENS wrote:Prepare for the mess Zoran ;)
Lol I really don't want to cause a mess. I'd love a constructive discussion indeed :D

Edit: yeah, there's already a thread, sorry :( viewtopic.php?f=2&t=105775&p=5174070&hilit=Cultural+appropriation#p5174070

Could the mods merge them, please? :oops:
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Postby stevyy » Sat Jan 30, 2016 8:40 pm

i find it weird that some people treat "culture" as something which belongs to a certain group.

All culture is human made - like the word itself and what it stands for. So if a human does something human-like it's like normal? don't you think???
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Postby trebor » Sat Jan 30, 2016 9:24 pm

The New York Times Magazine: Is Cultural Appropriation Always Wrong

It’s a truth only selectively acknowledged that all cultures are mongrel. One of the first Indian words to be brought into English was the Hindi ‘‘loot’’ — ‘‘plunder.’’ Some of the Ku Klux Klan's 19th-century costumes were, of all things, inspired in part by the festival wear of West African slaves; the traditional wax-print designs we associate with West Africa are apparently Indonesian — by way of the Netherlands. Gandhi cribbed nonviolence from the Sermon on the Mount.

We sometimes describe this mingling as ‘‘cross-pollination’’ or ‘‘cross-fertilization’’ — benign, bucolic metaphors that obscure the force of these encounters. When we wish to speak more plainly, we talk of ‘‘appropriation’’ — a word now associated with the white Western world’s co-opting of minority cultures. And this year — these past several months alone — there has been plenty of talk. In film, there was the outcry over the casting of the blonde Emma Stone as the part-Chinese Hawaiian heroine of Cameron Crowe’s ‘‘Aloha.’’ In music, Miley Cyrus wore dreadlock extensions while hosting the V.M.A.s and drew accusations of essentially performing in blackface — and not for the first time. In literature, there was the discovery that Michael Derrick Hudson, a white poet, had been published in this year’s Best American Poetry anthology under a Chinese pseudonym. In fashion, there was the odd attempt to rebrand cornrows as a Caucasian style — a ‘‘favorite resort hair look,’’ according to Elle. And floating above it all has been Rachel Dolezal, the presiding spirit of the phenomenon, the white former N.A.A.C.P. chapter president who remains serenely and implacably convinced of her blackness.

Questions about the right to your creation and labor, the right to your identity, emerge out of old wounds in America, and they provoke familiar battle stances. The same arguments are trotted out (It’s just hair! Stop being so sensitive! It’s not always about race!) to be met by the same quotes from Bell Hooks, whose essays from the early ’90s on pop culture, and specifically on Madonna, have been a template for discussions of how white people ‘‘colonize’’ black identity to feel transgressive: ‘‘Ethnicity becomes spice, seasoning that can liven up the dull dish that is mainstream white culture.’’ It’s a seasonal contro­versy that attends awards shows, music festivals, Halloween: In a country whose beginnings are so bound up in theft, conversations about appropriation are like a ceremonial staging of the nation’s original sins.

It can feel like such a poignantly stalled conversation that we’re occasionally tempted to believe we’ve moved past it. A 2013 NPR story on America’s changing demographics and the evolution of hip-hop made a case that the genre has lost its identification with race, and that young people aren’t burdened by anxieties about authenticity. ‘‘The melding of cultures we’re seeing now may have Generation X and Generation Y shaking in their boots with claims of racial ‘appropriation,’ ’’ the rapper and performance artist Mykki Blanco said in an online discussion about fashion’s debt to ‘‘urban culture.’’ ‘‘To Generation Z, I would clearly think it all seems ‘normal.’ ’’ Hip-hop culture is global culture, according to this wisdom: People of Korean descent have dominated the largest international b-boy championships; twerking is a full-blown obsession in Russia. ‘‘We as black people have to come to grips that hip-hop is a contagious culture,’’ Questlove, the drummer and co-founder of the Roots, said last year in an interview with Time magazine in which he defended Iggy Azalea, the white Australian rapper derided for (among other things) affecting a ‘‘Southern’’ accent. ‘‘If you love something, you gotta set it free.’’

But many of the most dogged critics of cultural appropriation are turning out to be the very people who were supposed to be indifferent to it. Members of supposedly easygoing Generation Z object — in droves — to Lena Dunham’s posting a photograph of herself in a mock hijab. Others argue that the cultural devaluation of black people paves the way for violence against them. ‘‘What would America be like if we loved black people as much as we loved black culture?’’ Amandla Stenberg, the 16-year-old star of ‘‘The Hunger Games,’’ asked, in her video message ‘‘Don’t Cash Crop My Cornrows,’’ which criticized pop stars like Katy Perry for borrowing from black style ‘‘as a way of being edgy.’’ In June, young Asian-Americans protested when the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, as an accompaniment to a lecture called ‘‘Claude Monet: Flirting With the Exotic,’’ invited visitors to pose next to Monet’s ‘‘La Japonaise’’ while wearing a matching kimono. And South Asian women, objecting to the fad for ‘‘ethnic’’ wear at music festivals like Coachella, continued a social-media campaign to ‘‘reclaim the bindi,’’ sharing photographs of themselves, their mothers and grandmothers wearing bindis, with captions like ‘‘My culture is not a costume.’’’

Is this just the latest flowering of ‘‘outrage culture’’? Not necessarily. ‘‘The line between cultural appropriation and cultural exchange is always going to be blurred,’’ Stenberg acknowledges in her video. But it has never been easier to proceed with good faith and Google, to seek out and respect context. Social media, these critics suggest, allow us too much access to other people’s lives and other people’s opinions to plead ignorance when it comes to causing offense. When Allure magazine offers tips on achieving a ‘‘loose Afro’’ accompanied by a photograph of a white woman, we can’t overlook how actual black women have been penalized for the hairstyle — that two years ago it was widely reported that a 12-year-old black girl in Florida was threatened with expulsion because of her ‘‘distracting’’ natural hair, and that schools in Oklahoma and Ohio have tried to ban Afros outright. We can’t forget that South Asian bindis became trendy in the mid-’90s, not long after South Asians in New Jersey were being targeted by a hate group that called itself Dotbusters, referencing the bindi, which some South Asian women stopped wearing out of fear of being attacked.

Seen in this light, ‘‘appropriation’’ seems less provocative than pitiably uninformed and stale. It seems possible that we might, someday, learn to keep our hands to ourselves where other people’s cultures are concerned. But then that might do another kind of harm. In an essay in the magazine Guernica, the Pakistani novelist Kamila Shamsie called for more, not less, imaginative engagement with her country: ‘‘The moment you say a male American writer can’t write about a female Pakistani, you are saying, Don’t tell those stories. Worse, you’re saying: As an American male you can’t understand a Pakistani woman. She is enigmatic, inscrutable, unknowable. She’s other. Leave her and her nation to its Otherness. Write them out of your history.’’

Can some kinds of appropriation shatter stereotypes? This has been literature’s implicit promise: that entering into another’s consciousness enlarges our own. Reviewing ‘‘Green on Blue,’’ Elliot Ackerman’s new novel that looks at America’s war in Afghanistan from the perspective of a young Afghan, the writer Tom Bissell said ‘‘there would be fewer wars’’ if more novelists allowed themselves to imagine themselves into other cultures. It’s a seductive if utterly unverifiable claim. But what cannot be disputed is how profoundly we exist in one another’s imaginations. And what conversations about appropriation make clear is that our imaginations are unruly kingdoms governed by fears and fantasies. They are never neutral.
Last edited by trebor on Sat Jan 30, 2016 9:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby trebor » Sat Jan 30, 2016 9:41 pm

@Zoran: The subject is very interesting and has been the topic here numerous times.
But as @toxicA* already pointed out there is no discussion culture here on UKMiX and this will ultimately lead to chaos and posters being suspended or banned.
The Wikipedia explanation is very tepid since it omits the fact that people normally take offence when the culture using elements of another de facto is or is seen or sensed to be more powerful (economy/size/army), an oppressor (historic/war[s]), superior (as a negative), unfair (bigot/dishonest), etc.
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Postby toni_pest » Sat Jan 30, 2016 9:43 pm

cultural appropriation is zzzzzzzzzzzz, people just want to be offended by something.
:)
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Postby trebor » Sat Jan 30, 2016 9:45 pm

@Airwrecka
Would you please fuse the two threads. Thanks! :D
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Postby menime123 » Sat Jan 30, 2016 9:52 pm

I'm all for it. In fairness, being a Brit it would be incredibly horrific if didn't embrace it, because British culture has always been dominated by a merged cultures. Even the English language has its roots in French and Latin.

Personally I think that cultural appropriation is just one step in a long line of steps that lead to all cultures eventually merging. Globalisation is here to stay and I don't think we realise how big an issue that will be, considering its in its infancy. Some believe we're all 'doomed' to becomes a one world state - so in many ways, cultural appropriation would be a form of ensuring certain aspects of different cultures wouldn't be lost, by bringing them to a larger audience.
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Postby thankfulforkelly » Sat Jan 30, 2016 10:00 pm

hopefully ukmix can be mature enough to have a debate that won't end in tears

for the most part, I'm fine with it. I think it shows a fascination with that culture and it's good to explore different cultures and get a better understanding of the world.

my only issues is when it can sometimes be inappropriate or offensive, like Katy Perry being a rabbi in the Birthday video.
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Postby CrazyCrazy » Sat Jan 30, 2016 10:08 pm

No one takes Katy Perry seriously at all though. :lol:
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Postby LionH3art » Sat Jan 30, 2016 10:13 pm

CrazyCrazy wrote:No one takes Katy Perry seriously at all though. :lol:
More ppl than the amount that take u seriously. No offense really, but... :)

I think cultural appropriation is annoying, a wise man once said:

"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery"

Why so hatefull?
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Postby toxicALIENS » Sat Jan 30, 2016 10:14 pm

thankfulforkelly wrote:my only issues is when it can sometimes be inappropriate or offensive, like Katy Perry being a rabbi in the Birthday video.
Would it be ok if a jew dressed a priest though? I think society would be fine with that :lol:
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Postby CrazyCrazy » Sat Jan 30, 2016 10:15 pm

LionH3art wrote:
CrazyCrazy wrote:No one takes Katy Perry seriously at all though. :lol:
More ppl than the amount that take u seriously. No offense really, but... :)
:lol:

Please stop responding to my posts, you are so unpleasant. :)
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Postby LionH3art » Sat Jan 30, 2016 10:17 pm

CrazyCrazy wrote:
LionH3art wrote:
CrazyCrazy wrote:No one takes Katy Perry seriously at all though. :lol:
More ppl than the amount that take u seriously. No offense really, but... :)
:lol:

Please stop responding to my posts, you are so unpleasant.
Stop mentioning Katheryn in a hateful manner.
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Postby CrazyCrazy » Sat Jan 30, 2016 10:19 pm

It wasn't hateful at all, you got to stop being so damn defensive all of the time. Katy is so silly and goofy, her image is so non-serious.

You pull apart everything I say, it's ridiculous.
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Postby ArmyOfMe » Sat Jan 30, 2016 10:21 pm

Well in some cases the argument is valid, IMO. Sometimes imitation becomes mockery and I find annoying af. I also find it mindless to copycat the style of a cultural minority without being aware of the issues that that minority faces, even worse when making money out of it.

Other than that, I am not really mad about it.

Guys, could you not turn the thread into a mess? It's true that few people take her seriously tho (it's not really her intention to be taken seriously tbf), but that doesn't make Burffday any less of a bop :P
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Postby toxicALIENS » Sat Jan 30, 2016 10:23 pm

ArmyOfMe wrote: but that doesn't make Burffday any less of a bop :P
World uniting Birthday should be used a sign of love and respect as it so universally loved by everyone!
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Postby ArmyOfMe » Sat Jan 30, 2016 10:24 pm

toxicALIENS wrote:
ArmyOfMe wrote: but that doesn't make Burffday any less of a bop :P
World uniting Birthday should be used a sign of love and respect as it so universally loved by everyone!
Stan for Katy's most undeserved fiasco :cry:
#Justice4Burrfday #Birthday2016rerelease
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Postby thankfulforkelly » Sat Jan 30, 2016 10:26 pm

oh god this is already turning into a mess :oops:

Babes, i get that Katy is lighthearted and not serious at all and I'm pretty chill about the Birthday video, but I just feel a little bit uncomfortable by her playing off a nasty stereotype that Jews are these creepy people obsessed with money.
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Postby LionH3art » Sat Jan 30, 2016 10:37 pm

ArmyOfMe wrote:Well in some cases the argument is valid, IMO. Sometimes imitation becomes mockery and I find annoying af. I also find it mindless to copycat the style of a cultural minority without being aware of the issues that that minority faces, even worse when making money out of it.

Other than that, I am not really mad about it.

Guys, could you not turn the thread into a mess? It's true that few people take her seriously tho (it's not really her intention to be taken seriously tbf), but that doesn't make Burffday any less of a bop :P
On a personal level yes, but not when imitating a culture as a whole imo. Every culture eventually comes forth out the same and could therefore be seen as cultural appropriation.

And concerning KP, she is one of the most popular stars out there, the 'few' ppl that take her seriously are therefore already many. Young ppl see her as a role model, ofcourse they will imitate her. But as I said, cultures aren't owned so I don't see the bad.
Last edited by LionH3art on Sat Jan 30, 2016 10:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby toxicALIENS » Sat Jan 30, 2016 10:38 pm

ArmyOfMe wrote:
toxicALIENS wrote:
ArmyOfMe wrote: but that doesn't make Burffday any less of a bop :P
World uniting Birthday should be used a sign of love and respect as it so universally loved by everyone!
Stan for Katy's most undeserved fiasco :cry:
#Justice4Burrfday #Birthday2016rerelease
She did say she would make it like our birthday everyday so why wouldn't that apply to 2016?! #KatyvsAdele2016
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Postby LionH3art » Sat Jan 30, 2016 10:40 pm

We are world citizens damn it.
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Postby ArmyOfMe » Sat Jan 30, 2016 10:44 pm

LionH3art wrote:
ArmyOfMe wrote:Well in some cases the argument is valid, IMO. Sometimes imitation becomes mockery and I find annoying af. I also find it mindless to copycat the style of a cultural minority without being aware of the issues that that minority faces, even worse when making money out of it.

Other than that, I am not really mad about it.

Guys, could you not turn the thread into a mess? It's true that few people take her seriously tho (it's not really her intention to be taken seriously tbf), but that doesn't make Burffday any less of a bop :P
On a personal level yes, but not when imitating a culture as a whole imo. Every culture eventually comes forth out the same and could therefore be seen as cultural appropriation.
But it IS annoying sometimes. Like everyone from abroad using catchphrases with me like "ciao bellissimo" or "bello ragazzo", like no. I wouldn't call it cultural appropriation tho, just kitsch stereotyping.
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