Opinion: Is Cultural Appropriation a Good Thing?

Posted by: briantheliberal

Cultural Appropriation - a practice that typically involves members of a dominant group exploiting the culture of non-dominant or marginalized groups — often with little understanding of the latter’s history, experience and traditions. An example of cultural appropriation would be a white Westerner dressing up as a Geisha or Samurai for Halloween. These are sacred and fundamental elements of Japanese culture, and most Japanese people consider this to be disrespectful and a mockery of their cultural heritage

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11 Total Votes
1

No - It is a bad thing.

6 votes
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2

I don't know

5 votes
2 comments
3

Yes - It is a good thing.

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briantheliberal says2015-08-02T08:41:08.4323791Z
Read the description if you need a better understand of the topic.
TBR says2015-08-02T15:18:23.9967702Z
Well, I am mostly English. We, as a culture, have mocked ourselves whenever possible. I am sure that others don't like this as much, but I personally don't care one bit when a man dresses like the queen, or a moronic nobile.
briantheliberal says2015-08-02T20:56:55.1150132Z
TBR, what you describe is not considered cultural appropriation, because you mock yourselves. It's only cultural appropriation when members outside of that culture take elements of that culture for their own use without understanding the significance of those elements. It has caused a lot of controversy in the U.S. among celebrities.
Vox_Veritas says2015-08-02T21:17:36.7113721Z
It's neither good nor bad. It's just something that people do.
TBR says2015-08-02T21:18:28.5242922Z
No... Its not. That is, there is very little that has NOT been appropriated. I guess you might us, say a Bowler hat as some afectation of British culture, but... Well the point is, it is the Birtish culture that squashed most of the world to start with.
UtherPenguin says2015-08-02T22:15:16.1218354Z
I'm not sure how dressing up as a samurai is offensive to Japanese people. That's like saying dressing up as a Knight is offensive to Europeans, or that dressing up as a cowboy is offensive to Americans.
Varrack says2015-08-02T22:39:38.5273220Z
^ Someone will always be offended no matter what you do.
briantheliberal says2015-08-02T23:14:52.2202708Z
Have any of you actually, I don't know, looked at things outside of your own perspective? I am not Japanese, but I know for a fact that most Japanese people still consider the geisha and samurai as sacred elements of their own unique history and culture. It is not a costume, or a fashion statement. Much like wearing a Native American headdress, an element of Native American culture worn by the most powerful, and influential members of a tribe and used in holy ceremonies, being used by outsiders as a costume without understanding the cultural significance it has is a mockery of their people and culture. This isn't just about people being "offended by anything" it is outright disrespect.
Renegader says2015-08-02T23:27:55.4813190Z
So would you scream at little kids on Halloween and take their candy away? Maybe lecture them on imperial Japan too?
briantheliberal says2015-08-02T23:31:35.1465002Z
Renegader, sorry, are children the only people to dress up on Halloween? If you are going to be sarcastic and resort to petty ad hominems, at least be clever with it. I clearly said nothing about chastising children for anything. You're dismissed.
briantheliberal says2015-08-02T23:36:47.0236994Z
In fact, since you mentioned it, let's all teach children that wearing blackface is okay too. Why not? Appropriating and mocking different peoples and cultures is okay with you.
UtherPenguin says2015-08-02T23:43:10.0204061Z
@briantheliberal blackface is not necessarily cultural appropriation, because blackface was never a part of black culture to begin with. Cultural appropration (at least, according to wikipedia) is simply: "the adoption or use of elements of one culture by a member or members of a different culture." It doesn't always revolve around mocking, or imitating another culture. It's just about a person from one culture adopting an aspect of another culture. Speaking English without being from England is cultural appropriation (Since language is a vital aspect of a person's culture). Listening to K-Pop without being Korean is cultural appropriation (Since K-Pop is a well-known aspect of Korean Pop culture).
briantheliberal says2015-08-02T23:54:01.2947293Z
UtherPenguin, "blackface is not necessarily cultural appropriation" - Actually it is. Ethnic identity, as well as the features associated with it, are correlated with a person's culture. In American history, blackface was used to mock African Americans' ethnic identity, which includes culture and behavior. That's why stereotypes (eating watermelon, exaggerating certain dances, and speaking a certain way) were often portrayed in blackface. Understand the difference between cultural appropriation, cultural appreciation, and cultural assimilation, none of which are the same thing. One may enjoy listening to Korean pop music, but there is a fine line between appreciating that music and making a mockery of the culture that produces it. This, by the way, happened when a Western K-pop fan underwent plastic surgery to "look like" a Korean idol. - That is cultural appropriation.
TheLadyofTheInternet says2015-08-02T23:54:24.8820805Z
To be honest I feel it is a bad thing not only does it produce stereotypes it also causes ignorance among other people. Plus it's all fun and games until your culture is being mocked. I bet if I (Australian) made an offensive joke about the "American" culture I would be called out for it but it's all good if they do it to others.
briantheliberal says2015-08-03T00:01:31.4512149Z
TheLadyofTheInternet, Agreed. I am planning on making a forum about this, but first I wanted to see people's opinion on the issue first. As usual, I got exactly what I expected, people speaking from ignorance instead of being aware of the concept and understanding its role in society. The issue itself is much deeper than just wearing an offensive costume, but most people don't know that so I will try to break that.
UtherPenguin says2015-08-03T00:14:23.5781644Z
@briantheliberal Cultural appreciation is still cultural appropriation since it still involves adopting aspects of one culture into your own, regardless of the intention. It doesn't matter if you are appreciating the culture, imitating the culture or downright mocking the culture, it still fits under the umbrella term of "cultural appropriation"
briantheliberal says2015-08-03T00:30:37.2896061Z
UtherPenguin, Appreciating a different and appropriating it are not the same thing. Cultural appropriation is not limited just "adopting elements of another culture" - it involves both mocking and/or taking credit for certain aspects of a different culture. The very definition of the word "appropriate" means to 'to take to or for oneself; take possession of' and 'to take without permission or consent; seize; expropriate', in other words, it is considered stealing. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/appropriate - Therefore, they are not the same thing. Cultural appreciation involves taking interest in, learning about, and understanding elements of a different culture, while simultaneously recognizing its significance. This includes, learning a foreign language, understanding the sacred artifacts, customs, and traditions of a different culture. You can't do that and appropriate it at the same time. There is no "appreciation" in wearing blackface, or effectively denying and refusing to give recognition to black people for their influence on American culture and society while taking credit for it.
UtherPenguin says2015-08-03T00:32:26.6602668Z
@briantheliberal Okay, I'll agree with you on this one.

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