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16 Facts About Cultural Appropriation

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Cultural appropriation is the adoption or use of the elements of one culture by members of another culture.

Cultural Appropriation Confuses This Hispanic by caffinejedi

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Cultural appropriation, often framed as cultural misappropriation, is sometimes portrayed as harmful and is claimed to be a violation of the collective intellectual property rights of the originating culture.

Intellectual property refers to creations of the intellect for which a monopoly is assigned to designated owners by law.

CULTURAL APPROPRIATION! by Chris Ray Gun

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Often unavoidable when multiple cultures come together, cultural appropriation can include using other cultures' traditions, food, fashion, symbols, technology, language, and cultural songs without permission.

Fashion is a popular style or practice, especially in clothing, footwear, accessories, makeup, body, or furniture.

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According to critics of the practice, cultural appropriation differs from acculturation, assimilation, or cultural exchange in that the "appropriation" or "misappropriation" refers to the adoption of these cultural elements in a colonial manner: elements are copied from a minority culture by members of a dominant culture, and these elements are used outside of their original cultural context—sometimes even against the expressly stated wishes of representatives of the originating culture.

Acculturation is the process of cultural change and psychological change that results following meeting between cultures.

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Often, the original meaning of these cultural elements is lost or distorted, and such displays are often viewed as disrespectful by members of the originating culture, or even as a form of desecration.

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Cultural elements which may have deep meaning to the original culture may be reduced to "exotic" fashion or toys by those from the dominant culture.

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Kjerstin Johnson has written that, when this is done, the imitator, "who does not experience that oppression is able to 'play', temporarily, an 'exotic' other, without experiencing any of the daily discriminations faced by other cultures."

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The African-American academic, musician and journalist Greg Tate argues that appropriation and the "fetishizing" of cultures, in fact, alienates those whose culture is being appropriated.

African Americans are an ethnic group of Americans with total or partial ancestry from any of the Black racial groups of Africa.

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On the other hand some scholars argue that the concept is misunderstood by the general public.

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Cultural appropriation is often misapplied to situations that don't accurately fit.

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Conversely, cultural appropriation or borrowing can be viewed as inevitable and a contribution to diversity and free expression.

Freedom of speech is the right to articulate one's opinions and ideas without fear of government retaliation or censorship, or societal sanction.

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This view distinguishes outright theft of cultural artifacts or exotic stereotyping from more benign borrowing or appreciation.

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Cultural borrowing and cross-fertilization is seen by proponents as a generally positive thing, and as something which is usually done out of admiration of the cultures being imitated, with no intent to harm them.

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Trans-cultural diffusion has occurred throughout history and is subject of study by a variety of academic disciplines, including folkloristics, cultural anthropology and cultural geography.

In cultural anthropology and cultural geography, cultural diffusion, as conceptualized by Leo Frobenius in his 1897/98 publication Der westafrikanische Kulturkreis, is the spread of cultural items—such as ideas, styles, religions, technologies, languages etc.—between individuals, whether within a single culture or from one culture to another.

Folkloristics, also known as folklore studies, is the formal academic discipline devoted to the study of folklore.

Cultural anthropology is a branch of anthropology focused on the study of cultural variation among humans.

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For instance, most of the world have adopted the Hindu-Arabic numerals as the common, standard form of describing numbers, which can be interpreted as a form of cultural appropriation.

Arabic numerals, also called Hindu–Arabic numerals are the ten digits: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, based on the Hindu–Arabic numeral system, the most common system for the symbolic representation of numbers in the world today.

Hindu refers to any person who regards themselves as culturally, ethnically, or religiously adhering to aspects of Hinduism.

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Opposition to cultural appropriation is seen as controversial as it may clash with the right to participate in culture.

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