Cultural Appropriation vs Cultural Assimilation

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Appropriation? Assimilation? Appreciation? What is all this?

Why can they do it but we can’t? Isn’t the same thing? Isn’t this just double standards?

All these questions float around when the topic of cultural appropriation comes about usually in the comments. However are three main terms that many people often get confused with when discussing cultural appropriation. One may start commenting on cultural appropriation when actually what it really is is appreciation or assimilation. So here we are to help clear everything up and help you understand where your argument stands!

First off cultural appropriation what is it?
When elements of a minority culture are taken by members of a more dominant culture for their own use. This results in the original context to become distorted and it’s meaning reduced. Those taking elements of the culture do not experience the same cultural significance.

and what about cultural assimilation?
This is the process by which elements of a dominant culture are take by members of a minority culture this often occurs when a minority enters into a dominate culture and assimilates in order to survive.

The difference between the two terms answers the commonly repeated questions about cultural appropriation of ‘Well if they do it why can’t I?” or “Isn’t this double standards?”

Unfortunately in this society not all cultures are perceived as equal. That’s the truth. Minorities take on aspects of dominate cultures to survive or be accepted (or even to hopefully perceived as equals). Where as cultural appropriation sees dominate cultures taking on elements of a minority often for the sake of being ‘trendy’, ‘fashionable’ etc

And then recently we’ve been seeing cultural appreciation
What is this? Well from what we gathered it is when people take the time to learn, educated and understand a culture before taking an educated decision to express the culture in way that does not offend ands till respect it.

However to speak for a whole culture is incredibly hard and there will be inevitable be people who will be offended. So when attempting to do cultural appreciation tread lightly and be aware.

We hope this has helped you out in learning more about cultural appropriation!

R.C.W – Stopping Cultural Appropriation

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Definition by Young, J 2010, Cultural Appropriation and the Arts.
Definitions by Encyclopaedia Britannia (x)

What the hell is Cultural Appropriation?

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The term gets thrown around by the media, internet, celebrities but what the hell is cultural appropriation exactly?

There are varying definitions of cultural appropriation floating around on the internet and what it can be applied to, so for many of us we’re just bloody confused to as what it is exactly.

In the simplest terms possible (and in no way trying to reduce the seriousness of this issue):

Cultural appropriation is when elements of a minority culture are taken by members of a more dominant culture for their own use.

This results in the original context to become distorted and it’s meaning reduced. Those taking elements of the culture do not experience the same cultural significance.

Often this can be seen as disrespectful and offensive. Culture is important to all people all around the world, as people we should respect that.

Hopefully this has explained what cultural appropriation is exactly, follow us to keep informed and inform others. And continue to find out why cultural appropriation need to be stopped.

R.C.W – Stopping Cultural Appropriation

Join the #stopthecult campaign on:
Twitter (x)
Instagram (x)
Facebook (x)
Definition provided by Young, J 2010, Cultural Appropriation and the Arts.