Essay about Cultural Appropriation Of A Dominant Group

1196 Words Sep 1st, 2015 5 Pages
Cultural Appropriation
What is cultural appropriation?

“Cultural appropriation is when somebody adopts aspects of a culture that’s not their own.”
That is the most basic understanding of cultural appropriation, however over the years the act of doing so now refers to the power dynamic in which members of a dominant culture adopt/trivialise elements from a culture of people who have been systematically oppressed by that dominant group. They can do this without acknowledging the existence or significance of its original source. This is why using someone else’s cultural symbols to satisfy a personal need for self-expression is an exercise in privilege.

People of a dominant group have a responsibility to listen to people of marginalised cultures and try to understand the blatant and subtle ways in which their cultures have been appropriated and exploited, and try to educate themselves to make informed choices.

Cultural appropriation isn 't just about hurt feelings either, it isn’t people telling other people what they can and can’t do, because, when a person who is coming from a dominant group chooses to exploit minority groups, it shows the real life power imbalance that still remains between cultures that have been colonised and the colonisers. This is about old patterns of taking, stealing, exploiting and misunderstanding a culture’s symbols and history which can have a strong significance to the people the culture belongs to. Cultural appropriation is harmful because it…

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