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What is [Cultural Appropriation]?

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    Bloods EndBloods End Blade of Tyshalle Punch dimensionRegistered User regular
    its a really interesting concept to think about

    because everyone can agree on the real obvious stuff, tasteless or offensive use of native american imagery for example, thats bad and dumb and shouldn't be done

    but it probably goes further than that? some people might say that like, you shouldn't open place that serves chinese food unless you are chinese, which i'm not sure. If you make good chinese food does that even matter?

    my favorite Chinese restaurant has a white guy for the head chef

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    BroloBrolo Broseidon Lord of the BroceanRegistered User regular
    Oghulk wrote: »
    its a really interesting concept to think about

    because everyone can agree on the real obvious stuff, tasteless or offensive use of native american imagery for example, thats bad and dumb and shouldn't be done

    but it probably goes further than that? some people might say that like, you shouldn't open place that serves chinese food unless you are chinese, which i'm not sure. If you make good chinese food does that even matter?

    Well there's cultural appropriation and then there's cultural exchange. I think a reasonable person would argue that opening a chinese restaurant is not appropriation. But in the hyperbolic rage chamber of the internet, I'm sure you'd find people crying foul most cruel. Which is unfortunate because it would lead to an insular, sterile, and boring world.

    where does the difference lie though?

    Authorial intent and viewer perception. The murkiest of murky lines!

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    DoobhDoobh She/Her, Ace Pan/Bisexual 8-) What's up, bootlickers?Registered User regular
    this is definitely something I should learn more about

    Racial issues are something I mostly understand through a feminist or queer theorist lens

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    Dongs GaloreDongs Galore Registered User regular
    Brolo wrote: »
    Brolo wrote: »
    Can we just make a disclaimer, once and for all that Western Civilization/Culture/Eurocentric Ideals and Christianity (for the most part) CANNOT be appropriated because so much of it is oppressive and has historically sought to replace and destroy various other cultures AND succeeded to do so. Especially with regards to Christian holidays and iconography because Christianity as an institution has for a LONG time tried to force itself on other people and cultures.

    This part right here is where it becomes self parody. It's chauvinistic and Eurocentric to presume that your culture is the only one that managed to conquer other ones.

    Islamic Arab civilization subjugated, oppressed and erased the heritage of pretty much every culture between the Tigris and the Maghreb. Islamic civilization more broadly, which extends even further out through India and Indonesia, is so dominated by Arabian norms that its holy text must be read in Arabic no matter where you are. Why isn't Arabian culture immune to "appropriation"? Should I go shit on a Maghrebi for following a Bedouin cultural norm?

    How often do you run into Maghrebis who follow Bedouin cultural norms?

    While it's true that Western culture is not the only one to have displaced other cultures, it's the one most people on this English-language speaking message board are going to run into.

    as a matter of fact, there is a fairly large Arab emigre community in my hometown

    That's beside the point, however. The interpretation of Appropriation being put forward by the quoted quote I was quoting makes no reference to the demographics of this message board, nor of any other culture which might be similarly immune to appropriation.

    Are you suggesting, or suggesting that the author is suggesting, that an Arabic-language message board might have a similar disclaimer about Arab Civilization/Culture/Islamocentric ideals?

    I'd hope so? If you find yourself in a place where you culture is so dominant that other minorities feel marginalized, particularly when you start superficially borrowing their forms of expression without consideration, maybe don't get too offended when they start borrowing your culture as well.

    yeah I'd hope the author was suggesting that too

    sadly he or she doesn't seem to care about anything that isn't European

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    Sir FabulousSir Fabulous Malevolent Squid God Registered User regular
    Oghulk wrote: »
    its a really interesting concept to think about

    because everyone can agree on the real obvious stuff, tasteless or offensive use of native american imagery for example, thats bad and dumb and shouldn't be done

    but it probably goes further than that? some people might say that like, you shouldn't open place that serves chinese food unless you are chinese, which i'm not sure. If you make good chinese food does that even matter?

    Well there's cultural appropriation and then there's cultural exchange. I think a reasonable person would argue that opening a chinese restaurant is not appropriation. But in the hyperbolic rage chamber of the internet, I'm sure you'd find people crying foul most cruel. Which is unfortunate because it would lead to an insular, sterile, and boring world.

    where does the difference lie though?

    The problem is that the difference changes from person to person.

    Obviously even two people who consider themselves from the exact same cultural background will have different feelings towards cultural appropriation.

    Generally though, if you find yourself thinking "is this racist?", the best thing to do is to wait until you can talk with someone from that culture and learn right from the source.

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    EncEnc A Fool with Compassion Pronouns: He, Him, HisRegistered User regular
    Oghulk wrote: »
    its a really interesting concept to think about

    because everyone can agree on the real obvious stuff, tasteless or offensive use of native american imagery for example, thats bad and dumb and shouldn't be done

    but it probably goes further than that? some people might say that like, you shouldn't open place that serves chinese food unless you are chinese, which i'm not sure. If you make good chinese food does that even matter?

    Well there's cultural appropriation and then there's cultural exchange. I think a reasonable person would argue that opening a chinese restaurant is not appropriation. But in the hyperbolic rage chamber of the internet, I'm sure you'd find people crying foul most cruel. Which is unfortunate because it would lead to an insular, sterile, and boring world.

    where does the difference lie though?

    If what I am doing doesn't directly harm folk, nor is done in a spirit or intent to directly harm folk, nor is directly tied to performing or reference to an act that has (in the past or immediate present) been used to specifically harm folks, then it probably isn't a problem.

    Opening a Chinese restaurant, not really an issue.

    Opening a Chinese restaurant on a train called "We Wok Long Time" with an add graphic of a racially insensitive railroad worker, probably an issue.

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    Sir FabulousSir Fabulous Malevolent Squid God Registered User regular
    In general, you're probably fine as long as you're not an asshole.

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    JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    its only problematic if you have time to complain about it

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    OghulkOghulk Tinychat Janitor TinychatRegistered User regular
    appropriation comes off more as the use of certain significant cultural objects, such as the chieftain's headdress for native americans or the use of chinese names for a business run by white people

    they are things reserved for people of status within the culture

    whereas exchange can be the crossing of goods/ideas but on a level plane for both cultures

    i realize now that this seems like a very Marxist interpretation of it

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    Cilla BlackCilla Black Priscilla!!! Registered User regular
    It isn't exclusively a race issue either

    White people can offensively appropriate other white people cultures just as well as they can for anyone else

    Obviously there are a lot more problematic elements when race is involved, of course, but it isn't like the US has failed to offend any give European culture in the past.

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    OghulkOghulk Tinychat Janitor TinychatRegistered User regular
    It isn't exclusively a race issue either

    White people can offensively appropriate other white people cultures just as well as they can for anyone else

    Obviously there are a lot more problematic elements when race is involved, of course, but it isn't like the US has failed to offend any give European culture in the past.

    of course, i was just giving the most visible issues their light

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    Calamity JaneCalamity Jane That Wrong Love Registered User regular
    is it callous to say this is gonna likely be locked in two or so pages

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    PsykomaPsykoma Registered User regular
    edited June 2014
    I'll be honest and say that cultural appropriation is a concept I am still confused by.

    Like sometimes it's really bad and I'll agree that the cultural appropriation was definitely there and is definitely harmful.
    But sometimes I'll see something like people saying white people doing yoga are cultural appropriators who should stop, and I can kind of see their point but still don't really agree with it, even though I know it's not really my place to agree or not?

    Psykoma on
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    Donovan PuppyfuckerDonovan Puppyfucker A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    Pessimistic, perhaps?

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    BroloBrolo Broseidon Lord of the BroceanRegistered User regular
    It isn't exclusively a race issue either

    White people can offensively appropriate other white people cultures just as well as they can for anyone else

    Obviously there are a lot more problematic elements when race is involved, of course, but it isn't like the US has failed to offend any give European culture in the past.

    Or even its own internal cultures.

    Like people automatically stereotyping anyone from the south as being a redneck, or southern accents themselves being associated with being "uncultured".

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    Calamity JaneCalamity Jane That Wrong Love Registered User regular
    there's appropriation and there's assimilation

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    Calamity JaneCalamity Jane That Wrong Love Registered User regular
    (who do you bet determines both of those?)

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    Dongs GaloreDongs Galore Registered User regular
    Psykoma wrote: »
    I'll be honest and say that cultural appropriation is a concept I am still confused by.

    Like sometimes it's really bad and I'll agree that the cultural appropriation was definitely there and is definitely harmful.
    But sometimes I'll see something like people saying white people doing yoga are cultural appropriators who should stop, and I can kind of see their point but still don't really agree with it, even though I know it's not really my place to agree or not?

    how is it not your place to agree or disagree

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    The Otaku SuppositoryThe Otaku Suppository Bawstan New EnglandRegistered User regular
    Oghulk wrote: »
    its a really interesting concept to think about

    because everyone can agree on the real obvious stuff, tasteless or offensive use of native american imagery for example, thats bad and dumb and shouldn't be done

    but it probably goes further than that? some people might say that like, you shouldn't open place that serves chinese food unless you are chinese, which i'm not sure. If you make good chinese food does that even matter?

    Well there's cultural appropriation and then there's cultural exchange. I think a reasonable person would argue that opening a chinese restaurant is not appropriation. But in the hyperbolic rage chamber of the internet, I'm sure you'd find people crying foul most cruel. Which is unfortunate because it would lead to an insular, sterile, and boring world.

    where does the difference lie though?

    There probably isn't a universal rule, but if you're going to wear or do something because you think it looks cool or exotic without any understanding of where it's coming from, that's bad. But if you've made the effort to understand the culture, understand the significance and show deference and respect, I'd say generally that would be ok, but not always. Ultimately there will be people from that culture or practice who don't give a shit and there will be those for whom it is the most egregious offense. It's mostly on a case by case basis.

    Food is actually a great example because a lot of significance and meaning is attached to foods, but many of those dishes and recipes are the result of thousands of years of cultural exchange. Every time two cultures have encountered each other, they've both ended up taking parts from the other back with them and incorporated them into their society. Each side probably doesn't always fully grasp the complexity of the concepts or practices they're taking back with them, but it's how we develop and grow. As a result, many disparate geographical regions share similar practices or ideas. So the idea that one culture holds dominion over all others is a tough sell in many cases. And as we become a more pan-global society this will only increase and not just with food.

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    Fire TruckFire Truck I love my SELFRegistered User regular
    Psykoma wrote: »
    I'll be honest and say that cultural appropriation is a concept I am still confused by.

    Like sometimes it's really bad and I'll agree that the cultural appropriation was definitely there and is definitely harmful.
    But sometimes I'll see something like people saying white people doing yoga are cultural appropriators who should stop, and I can kind of see their point but still don't really agree with it, even though I know it's not really my place to agree or not?

    how is it not your place to agree or disagree

    I would guess because if it's a thing that is happening, it is happening independent of her agreement?

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    Calamity JaneCalamity Jane That Wrong Love Registered User regular
    usually the "more sterile" society shit is trotted out so that we can pat ourselves on the backs and say "my mexican pal said i can make mexican jokes"

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    Dongs GaloreDongs Galore Registered User regular
    Fire Truck wrote: »
    Psykoma wrote: »
    I'll be honest and say that cultural appropriation is a concept I am still confused by.

    Like sometimes it's really bad and I'll agree that the cultural appropriation was definitely there and is definitely harmful.
    But sometimes I'll see something like people saying white people doing yoga are cultural appropriators who should stop, and I can kind of see their point but still don't really agree with it, even though I know it's not really my place to agree or not?

    how is it not your place to agree or disagree

    I would guess because if it's a thing that is happening, it is happening independent of her agreement?

    doing yoga is happening, yes

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    Sir FabulousSir Fabulous Malevolent Squid God Registered User regular
    usually the "more sterile" society shit is trotted out so that we can pat ourselves on the backs and say "my mexican pal said i can make mexican jokes"

    I think the issue is not the sterilization of society, but the fact that the more exclusive people are, the more racist they are likely to be.

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    The Otaku SuppositoryThe Otaku Suppository Bawstan New EnglandRegistered User regular
    usually the "more sterile" society shit is trotted out so that we can pat ourselves on the backs and say "my mexican pal said i can make mexican jokes"

    Or people recognize that living in a wholly cultural isolationist world would be stagnant and narrow-minded.

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    Mortal SkyMortal Sky queer punk hedge witchRegistered User regular
    edited June 2014
    Oghulk wrote: »
    its a really interesting concept to think about

    because everyone can agree on the real obvious stuff, tasteless or offensive use of native american imagery for example, thats bad and dumb and shouldn't be done

    but it probably goes further than that? some people might say that like, you shouldn't open place that serves chinese food unless you are chinese, which i'm not sure. If you make good chinese food does that even matter?

    for example the samurai champloo picture in the op

    I never considered it an example of cultural appropriation cause it's a piece of fiction and the whole point is that it's anachronistic

    Yeah and also Japan has a substantial hip hop subculture which has been around for decades at this point. Not as appropriation, but it started as genuine appreciation of the original American hip hop and has long since mutated into its own beast. There's a fine line there, but the point is that the Japanese subculture isn't overly gratuitous about the whole thing

    The whole point of the word "chanpuru" in the title of Samurai Champloo is that it's Okinawan for a mash-up of foods and stuff from across cultures

    So while a lot of this OP is actually well thought out, that particular image of the character Mugen in a beanie is actually pretty fuckin' on point as to how Tokyo fashion goes and has for a long time

    Normally anime and Japanese culture are tangential at best, but Samurai Champloo isn't a typical anime in the slightest (and was hardly successful in Japan for that reason, despite being a cult classic in America)

    Sorry for the rambling post but I've seen a lot of Japanese street culture first hand and so this one's kinda in my domain

    Mortal Sky on
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    Calamity JaneCalamity Jane That Wrong Love Registered User regular
    i dont really buy the more sterile argument

    the apex of that argument seems like a caged deer analysis that only by way of being really abrasive can we shed light on truly evil things

    and then someone posts a louis ck video

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    Dongs GaloreDongs Galore Registered User regular
    edited June 2014
    i dont really buy the more sterile argument

    the apex of that argument seems like a caged deer analysis that only by way of being really abrasive can we shed light on truly evil things

    and then someone posts a louis ck video

    the problem is "cultural appropriation" in the internet's conception has come to redefine innocuous shit like a white girl wearing dreadlocks as "really abrasive"

    at which point the whole notion starts to become intellectually bankrupt

    Dongs Galore on
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    Fire TruckFire Truck I love my SELFRegistered User regular
    Fire Truck wrote: »
    Psykoma wrote: »
    I'll be honest and say that cultural appropriation is a concept I am still confused by.

    Like sometimes it's really bad and I'll agree that the cultural appropriation was definitely there and is definitely harmful.
    But sometimes I'll see something like people saying white people doing yoga are cultural appropriators who should stop, and I can kind of see their point but still don't really agree with it, even though I know it's not really my place to agree or not?

    how is it not your place to agree or disagree

    I would guess because if it's a thing that is happening, it is happening independent of her agreement?

    doing yoga is happening, yes

    no, the appropriation, and the anger/offense caused thereby. I don't really know much about yoga though, or the extent to which people are actually mad about it.

    I would guess people feel bad about it because of how it gets divorced from the spiritual or cultural roots that many practitioners consider important parts of it. Or because people are profiting from it while not showing proper respect for where it came from. Just guesses.

    Anyway, that stuff would be happening whether or not she agreed with the arguments.

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    The Otaku SuppositoryThe Otaku Suppository Bawstan New EnglandRegistered User regular
    i dont really buy the more sterile argument

    the apex of that argument seems like a caged deer analysis that only by way of being really abrasive can we shed light on truly evil things

    and then someone posts a louis ck video

    Are people arguing for the right to make racial remarks? I don't think that's what people are arguing here.

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    Calamity JaneCalamity Jane That Wrong Love Registered User regular
    edited June 2014
    just say people

    because people use the internet

    now, what pray tell, what group of people think that

    ive seen that sentiment about seven or so times while yes, browsing the internet

    and three times with my coworkers around the hippy city of eugene oregon

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    PonyPony Registered User regular
    I'm gonna pass on this for now.

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    Dongs GaloreDongs Galore Registered User regular
    Fire Truck wrote: »
    Fire Truck wrote: »
    Psykoma wrote: »
    I'll be honest and say that cultural appropriation is a concept I am still confused by.

    Like sometimes it's really bad and I'll agree that the cultural appropriation was definitely there and is definitely harmful.
    But sometimes I'll see something like people saying white people doing yoga are cultural appropriators who should stop, and I can kind of see their point but still don't really agree with it, even though I know it's not really my place to agree or not?

    how is it not your place to agree or disagree

    I would guess because if it's a thing that is happening, it is happening independent of her agreement?

    doing yoga is happening, yes

    no, the appropriation, and the anger/offense caused thereby. I don't really know much about yoga though, or the extent to which people are actually mad about it.

    I would guess people feel bad about it because of how it gets divorced from the spiritual or cultural roots that many practitioners consider important parts of it. Or because people are profiting from it while not showing proper respect for where it came from. Just guesses.

    Anyway, that stuff would be happening whether or not she agreed with the arguments.

    the anger/offense would be happening

    she can argue all she goddamn wants about whether it can be justified using a sociological concept

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    Calamity JaneCalamity Jane That Wrong Love Registered User regular
    i dont really buy the more sterile argument

    the apex of that argument seems like a caged deer analysis that only by way of being really abrasive can we shed light on truly evil things

    and then someone posts a louis ck video

    Are people arguing for the right to make racial remarks? I don't think that's what people are arguing here.

    im interrogating the idea, not any one specific opinion espoused here

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    Fire TruckFire Truck I love my SELFRegistered User regular
    i dont really buy the more sterile argument

    the apex of that argument seems like a caged deer analysis that only by way of being really abrasive can we shed light on truly evil things

    and then someone posts a louis ck video

    the problem is "cultural appropriation" in the internet's conception has come to redefine innocuous shit like a white girl wearing dreadlocks as "really abrasive"

    at which point the whole notion starts to become intellectually bankrupt

    How do some people saying some things on some websites delegitimize a well-documented, problematic concept?

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    Dongs GaloreDongs Galore Registered User regular
    just say people

    because people use the internet

    now, what pray tell, what group of people think that

    ive seen that sentiment about seven or so times while yes, browsing the internet

    and three times with my coworkers around the hippy city of eugene oregon

    the sentiment about the dreadlocks, or the sentiment I expressed about the sentiment?

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    Calamity JaneCalamity Jane That Wrong Love Registered User regular
    the dreadlocks

    as it turns out the black coworkers were not huge fans

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    The Otaku SuppositoryThe Otaku Suppository Bawstan New EnglandRegistered User regular
    i dont really buy the more sterile argument

    the apex of that argument seems like a caged deer analysis that only by way of being really abrasive can we shed light on truly evil things

    and then someone posts a louis ck video

    Are people arguing for the right to make racial remarks? I don't think that's what people are arguing here.

    im interrogating the idea, not any one specific opinion espoused here

    I guess I don't see the connection since I made the "sterile" comment as a counter-point to cultural isolationism. But you've gone and attached it to something entirely different, so now we're really not debating the idea anymore.

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    Calamity JaneCalamity Jane That Wrong Love Registered User regular
    it turns out we are not! as you might've noted, i did not qoute any of your remarks as a lead in!

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    Dongs GaloreDongs Galore Registered User regular
    the dreadlocks

    as it turns out the black coworkers were not huge fans

    okay so what was "now, what pray tell, what group of people think that" asking

    was it rhetorical? Because I thought you were seriously asking for citations of people taking issue with dreadlocks

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    EncEnc A Fool with Compassion Pronouns: He, Him, HisRegistered User regular
    edited June 2014
    Oghulk wrote: »
    its a really interesting concept to think about

    because everyone can agree on the real obvious stuff, tasteless or offensive use of native american imagery for example, thats bad and dumb and shouldn't be done

    but it probably goes further than that? some people might say that like, you shouldn't open place that serves chinese food unless you are chinese, which i'm not sure. If you make good chinese food does that even matter?

    Well there's cultural appropriation and then there's cultural exchange. I think a reasonable person would argue that opening a chinese restaurant is not appropriation. But in the hyperbolic rage chamber of the internet, I'm sure you'd find people crying foul most cruel. Which is unfortunate because it would lead to an insular, sterile, and boring world.

    where does the difference lie though?

    There probably isn't a universal rule, but if you're going to wear or do something because you think it looks cool or exotic without any understanding of where it's coming from, that's bad. But if you've made the effort to understand the culture, understand the significance and show deference and respect, I'd say generally that would be ok, but not always. Ultimately there will be people from that culture or practice who don't give a shit and there will be those for whom it is the most egregious offense. It's mostly on a case by case basis.

    Food is actually a great example because a lot of significance and meaning is attached to foods, but many of those dishes and recipes are the result of thousands of years of cultural exchange. Every time two cultures have encountered each other, they've both ended up taking parts from the other back with them and incorporated them into their society. Each side probably doesn't always fully grasp the complexity of the concepts or practices they're taking back with them, but it's how we develop and grow. As a result, many disparate geographical regions share similar practices or ideas. So the idea that one culture holds dominion over all others is a tough sell in many cases. And as we become a more pan-global society this will only increase and not just with food.

    Why would this be the case? Every culture in the world does this to every other culture it encounters. Every single one. There is no inherent problem in designing your house to be in French Country, or Tuscan, or SE Asian contemporary style just for the aesthetics of the thing, or for wearing clothes or motifs of a specific culture just because you like the way it looks. Everyone does this, and it isn't deliberately insulting nor is it intended as such. If anything it can be a flattery (thought typically it comes of as innocently comical due to cultural dissonance).

    If you co-opt that style and claim it means something where it comes from, especially when you have no idea about if it does, that's bad. But it is also a different thing.

    The guy wearing a silk Chinese-style suit because he likes the look and feel of it is fine. The guy doing that and preaching about how the dragon on his sleeve "is probably a symbol for a powerful triad family or martial arts school" or talks about how it makes him "a master of their culture" is doing something wrong.

    Enc on
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