Author Topic: some thoughts on cultural appropriation  (Read 90376 times)

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Offline NEKSkeptic

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #165 on: April 06, 2017, 08:08:58 PM »
The existence of cultural exchange does not make appropriation a good thing.

That's quite the blanket statement.  Can't it make it a good thing?  If we assume that harm is on a spectrum, can't the benefits of cultural exchange outweigh the harm on occasion?

Offline D4M10N

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #166 on: April 06, 2017, 08:26:20 PM »
The existence of cultural exchange does not make appropriation a good thing.
Appropriation is bad by definition (at this point, people are going to have to go google the definition for themselves), but the two things are close.
Its important to stress that cultural exchange is not what is being objected to.
As I asked earlier, how confident are we that experts would reliably sort specific examples into one bin or the other in the same way?

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Offline Johnny Slick

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #167 on: April 06, 2017, 10:38:06 PM »
The existence of cultural exchange does not make appropriation a good thing.

That's quite the blanket statement.  Can't it make it a good thing?  If we assume that harm is on a spectrum, can't the benefits of cultural exchange outweigh the harm on occasion?
Seriously, dude, SkeptiQueer explained the "spectrum" in literally the post right before yours. There's simple ignorance and then there's just being willfully dense so you don't have to think too hard.
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Offline Drunken Idaho

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #168 on: April 07, 2017, 12:21:15 AM »
The existence of cultural exchange does not make appropriation a good thing.

That's quite the blanket statement.  Can't it make it a good thing?  If we assume that harm is on a spectrum, can't the benefits of cultural exchange outweigh the harm on occasion?
Seriously, dude, SkeptiQueer explained the "spectrum" in literally the post right before yours. There's simple ignorance and then there's just being willfully dense so you don't have to think too hard.

Non-sassy answer: hypothetically, yes, a given instance of appropriation may result in more good than bad.
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Offline arthwollipot

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #169 on: April 07, 2017, 12:25:33 AM »
No no no. We're getting into definitions territory here. Cultural "appropriation" is defined as harmful. If it isn't harmful, it isn't appropriation.
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Offline Drunken Idaho

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #170 on: April 07, 2017, 03:19:18 AM »
No no no. We're getting into definitions territory here. Cultural "appropriation" is defined as harmful. If it isn't harmful, it isn't appropriation.

The words "cultural" and "appropriation" mean specific things. When "appropriation" modifies "cultural," it means another thing--a thing which may or not be harmful.

I don't agree with using "cultural appropriation" to only mean harmful appropriation, because it makes the meaning ambiguous. If you'd like to refer to "harmful cultural appropriation," I think you should refer to it as such, or invent a new term to refer to it if it so pleases you--but we can't assume that the literal definitions of the words do or should change at the whim of a (well-intentioned) cultural movement.
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Offline jt512

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #171 on: April 07, 2017, 03:31:48 AM »
No no no. We're getting into definitions territory here. Cultural "appropriation" is defined as harmful. If it isn't harmful, it isn't appropriation.

The words "cultural" and "appropriation" mean specific things. When "appropriation" modifies "cultural," it means another thing--a thing which may or not be harmful.

I don't agree with using "cultural appropriation" to only mean harmful appropriation, because it makes the meaning ambiguous. If you'd like to refer to "harmful cultural appropriation," I think you should refer to it as such, or invent a new term to refer to it if it so pleases you--but we can't assume that the literal definitions of the words do or should change at the whim of a (well-intentioned) cultural movement.

To "appropriate" means to "steal."  So "cultural appropriation" literally means to steal another's culture.  When you steal something, you deprive its owners' of it.  Thus the notion of "cultural appropriation" is problematic for two reasons: (1) People with a particular cultural background don't own the aspects of their culture, and (2) adopting, with or without modification, any aspects of their culture does not deprive them of those aspects.
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Offline Drunken Idaho

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #172 on: April 07, 2017, 03:42:15 AM »
No no no. We're getting into definitions territory here. Cultural "appropriation" is defined as harmful. If it isn't harmful, it isn't appropriation.

The words "cultural" and "appropriation" mean specific things. When "appropriation" modifies "cultural," it means another thing--a thing which may or not be harmful.

I don't agree with using "cultural appropriation" to only mean harmful appropriation, because it makes the meaning ambiguous. If you'd like to refer to "harmful cultural appropriation," I think you should refer to it as such, or invent a new term to refer to it if it so pleases you--but we can't assume that the literal definitions of the words do or should change at the whim of a (well-intentioned) cultural movement.

To "appropriate" means to "steal."

Citation, please?

Dictionary.com:

Quote
verb (used with object), appropriated, appropriating.
3.
to set apart, authorize, or legislate for some specific purpose or use:
The legislature appropriated funds for the university.
4.
to take to or for oneself; take possession of.
5.
to take without permission or consent; seize; expropriate:
He appropriated the trust funds for himself.
6.
to steal, especially to commit petty theft.

Merriam-webster:

Quote
transitive verb
1
:  to take exclusive possession of :  annex No one should appropriate a common benefit.
2
:  to set apart for or assign to a particular purpose or use appropriate money for a research program
3
:  to take or make use of without authority or right natural habitats that have been appropriated for human use

Oxoford:

VERB

Quote
[WITH OBJECT]
Pronunciation /əˈprəʊprɪeɪt/
1Take (something) for one's own use, typically without the owner's permission.
‘the accused had appropriated the property’
More example sentencesSynonyms
2Devote (money or assets) to a special purpose.

So, by any reasonable definition, it's more like "uses without permission."

Can we agree there?
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Offline NEKSkeptic

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #173 on: April 07, 2017, 06:24:30 AM »

Non-sassy answer: hypothetically, yes, a given instance of appropriation may result in more good than bad.

Thank you for your respectful response. 

Offline NEKSkeptic

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #174 on: April 07, 2017, 07:27:16 AM »
When you steal something, you deprive its owners' of it. 

Culture is now a finite resource?

Offline The Latinist

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #175 on: April 07, 2017, 10:06:51 AM »
No no no. We're getting into definitions territory here. Cultural "appropriation" is defined as harmful. If it isn't harmful, it isn't appropriation.

The words "cultural" and "appropriation" mean specific things. When "appropriation" modifies "cultural," it means another thing--a thing which may or not be harmful.

I don't agree with using "cultural appropriation" to only mean harmful appropriation, because it makes the meaning ambiguous. If you'd like to refer to "harmful cultural appropriation," I think you should refer to it as such, or invent a new term to refer to it if it so pleases you--but we can't assume that the literal definitions of the words do or should change at the whim of a (well-intentioned) cultural movement.

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Offline SkeptiQueer

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #176 on: April 07, 2017, 10:08:39 AM »
No no no. We're getting into definitions territory here. Cultural "appropriation" is defined as harmful. If it isn't harmful, it isn't appropriation.

The words "cultural" and "appropriation" mean specific things. When "appropriation" modifies "cultural," it means another thing--a thing which may or not be harmful.

I don't agree with using "cultural appropriation" to only mean harmful appropriation, because it makes the meaning ambiguous. If you'd like to refer to "harmful cultural appropriation," I think you should refer to it as such, or invent a new term to refer to it if it so pleases you--but we can't assume that the literal definitions of the words do or should change at the whim of a (well-intentioned) cultural movement.

To "appropriate" means to "steal."  So "cultural appropriation" literally means to steal another's culture.  When you steal something, you deprive its owners' of it.  Thus the notion of "cultural appropriation" is problematic for two reasons: (1) People with a particular cultural background don't own the aspects of their culture, and (2) adopting, with or without modification, any aspects of their culture does not deprive them of those aspects.
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Offline D4M10N

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #177 on: April 07, 2017, 11:46:06 AM »


No no no. We're getting into definitions territory here. Cultural "appropriation" is defined as harmful. If it isn't harmful, it isn't appropriation.

The words "cultural" and "appropriation" mean specific things. When "appropriation" modifies "cultural," it means another thing--a thing which may or not be harmful.

I don't agree with using "cultural appropriation" to only mean harmful appropriation, because it makes the meaning ambiguous. If you'd like to refer to "harmful cultural appropriation," I think you should refer to it as such, or invent a new term to refer to it if it so pleases you--but we can't assume that the literal definitions of the words do or should change at the whim of a (well-intentioned) cultural movement.

Do you also object to defining murder as unlawful killing?

A telling comparison. Homicide is generally assumed to be unjustified (and terribly harmful) unless some adequate justification can be shown to exist. If you admit to killing someone, you'd better have a damn good explanation. If you admit to borrowing ideas from another culture...?


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Offline Johnny Slick

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #178 on: April 07, 2017, 12:03:41 PM »


No no no. We're getting into definitions territory here. Cultural "appropriation" is defined as harmful. If it isn't harmful, it isn't appropriation.

The words "cultural" and "appropriation" mean specific things. When "appropriation" modifies "cultural," it means another thing--a thing which may or not be harmful.

I don't agree with using "cultural appropriation" to only mean harmful appropriation, because it makes the meaning ambiguous. If you'd like to refer to "harmful cultural appropriation," I think you should refer to it as such, or invent a new term to refer to it if it so pleases you--but we can't assume that the literal definitions of the words do or should change at the whim of a (well-intentioned) cultural movement.

Do you also object to defining murder as unlawful killing?

A telling comparison. Homicide is generally assumed to be unjustified (and terribly harmful) unless some adequate justification can be shown to exist. If you admit to killing someone, you'd better have a damn good explanation. If you admit to borrowing ideas from another culture...?


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But as has been explained, that is not the entirety of what cultural appropriation *is*. Seriously, it's very hard to not be snarky with you because it really, really looks like you're doing this on purpose.
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Offline jt512

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #179 on: April 07, 2017, 12:06:40 PM »
No no no. We're getting into definitions territory here. Cultural "appropriation" is defined as harmful. If it isn't harmful, it isn't appropriation.

The words "cultural" and "appropriation" mean specific things. When "appropriation" modifies "cultural," it means another thing--a thing which may or not be harmful.

I don't agree with using "cultural appropriation" to only mean harmful appropriation, because it makes the meaning ambiguous. If you'd like to refer to "harmful cultural appropriation," I think you should refer to it as such, or invent a new term to refer to it if it so pleases you--but we can't assume that the literal definitions of the words do or should change at the whim of a (well-intentioned) cultural movement.

To "appropriate" means to "steal."

Citation, please?

Dictionary.com:

Quote
verb (used with object), appropriated, appropriating.
3.
to set apart, authorize, or legislate for some specific purpose or use:
The legislature appropriated funds for the university.
4.
to take to or for oneself; take possession of.
5.
to take without permission or consent; seize; expropriate:
He appropriated the trust funds for himself.
6.
to steal, especially to commit petty theft.

Merriam-webster:

Quote
transitive verb
1
:  to take exclusive possession of :  annex No one should appropriate a common benefit.
2
:  to set apart for or assign to a particular purpose or use appropriate money for a research program
3
:  to take or make use of without authority or right natural habitats that have been appropriated for human use

Oxoford:

VERB

Quote
[WITH OBJECT]
Pronunciation /əˈprəʊprɪeɪt/
1Take (something) for one's own use, typically without the owner's permission.
‘the accused had appropriated the property’
More example sentencesSynonyms
2Devote (money or assets) to a special purpose.

So, by any reasonable definition, it's more like "uses without permission."

Can we agree there?

Nope.  Not until you can read and comprehend your own citations.
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