What Is the Definition of Cultural Appropriation

These usually come from outside, cultural pressures and messages. Although the history of colonization and marginalization is not limited to the Americas, the practice of non-Indigenous sports teams derived from the team names, images and mascots of Indigenous peoples is still common in the United States and Canada, and has continued to some extent despite protests from Indigenous groups. Cornel Pewewardy, professor and director of Indigenous Nation Studies at Portland State University, cites Indigenous mascots as an example of unconscious racism that, by placing images of Native Americans or First Nations in an invented media context, continues to maintain the superiority of the dominant culture. [108] It is argued that such practices can maintain the balance of power between dominant and Indigenous culture and be seen as a form of cultural imperialism. [109] [110] It can be natural to merge and mix cultures when people from different backgrounds come together and interact. In fact, many wonderful inventions and creations have emerged from the fusion of such cultures, such as country music. However, the line is drawn when a dominant cultural group uses elements of a non-dominant group in a way that the non-dominant group considers exploitation. And he later repeated this act of appropriation and testimony. As early as the 1960s, the concept of cultural appropriation appeared in the scientific literature as a tool for criticizing colonialism and its effects. The term has gradually shifted from scientific jargon to activism for online social justice. He jumped into the mainstream in 2013, as evidenced by a popular Huffington Post article criticizing Katy Perry`s blind inclusion of East Asian cultural images in a geisha-themed performance. If you have researched a crop, does that mean you have permission to use it freely? Not exactly.

Good intentions do not automatically free us from the damage that cultural appropriation inflicts on marginalized communities. Before you “borrow” from a culture, do a belly check: In addition to observing your own actions, it`s important to pay attention to the actions of companies and be picky about how you spend your dollars, as this is another way to support members of the non-dominant culture. Do what you can if you can while learning to do better. However, says the EverydayFeminism website, that`s not the whole story. Unlike cultural exchange, where there is mutual exchange, appropriation refers to a “special power dynamic in which members of a dominant culture adopt elements of a culture of people who have been systematically oppressed by that dominant group.” The line between what distinguishes cultural appropriation from cultural appreciation can be thin, let alone controversy. Some say that appropriation does not exist because no culture is completely original and not influenced by another. Others believe that creatives such as designers and musicians get a passport because their art is open to discussion and interpretation. The key to practicing appreciation rather than appropriation is to understand the culture you are borrowing from, including acknowledging their history of oppression and marginalization. It also helps to support the creators of this culture, if possible. Another factor that has popularized cultural appropriation is the growing willingness of people to denounce the problematic behavior of high-profile people like Selena Gomez when she wore a bindi outside of her religious context. In this way, cultural appropriation is a multi-layered and nuanced phenomenon that many people struggle to understand – or cannot recognize when they do it themselves.

The use of minority languages is also cited as cultural appropriation when non-speakers of Scottish Gaelic or Irish are tattooed in these languages. [134] Similarly, the symbolic use of false Scottish Gaelic for non-Gaelic speakers on signs and advertisements has been criticized as disrespectful to fluent speakers of the language. [135] Selena Gomez wore a bindi, a colorful dot traditionally worn in the middle of the forehead by Indian women from various religious and cultural communities, for several performances in 2013. The bindi can symbolize the connection with the “third eye” or as a way to distinguish married women. “Bindi is an auspicious religious symbol that should not be thrown away cowardly,” said Rajan Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism. .