Scandinavia and the World
 

Comments #9686947:


Halloween appropriation 8 10, 1:14am

@BETAOPTICS

What you describe is not a problem, but cultural appropriation is more then that.

It occurs when a majority culture appropriates singular parts out off a minority culture and use them out of context as an exotic accent.
As minority cultures are usually defined as "the other" and afforded lower status in the eyes of the majority, when these cultural expressions or customs are expressed within the minority culture, they're seen as having lower value - but when they are appropriated by the majority culture they're suddenly valued more. This does not however raise the value of the cultural expression within the minority culture.

Or to give an example:
The African-American community in the US has historically suffered terrible oppression and racist views against people of African decent is still rife within large parts of US society.
Thus cultural expression emanating from within this community is afforded less status and value - just as the people creating the culture themselves.

But when white Americans then choose to appropriate parts of black culture like music or hairstyles, these privileged whites don't suffer the negative connotations of the cultural expressions to the same extent.

A white kid with cornrows rapping is more likely to be seen as expressing him/herself stylistically and artistically - a black kid doing the same is more likely to be seen as a probable gang member.

Meaning the minority culture doesn't gain anything from the appropriation of the majority culture. The process isn't a fair trade or an expression of respect for or interest in the minority culture - it's just the majority culture stealing what it likes from the minority culture and giving nothing in return.
And this can of course lead to justifiable resentment in the minority culture.

"OK, so when you steal stuff from us and do the exact same things - then it's cool - but when we do it, it's looked down upon? How is that fair?!"