Cultural appropriation is the use of elements typical of a given culture by people belonging to a different cultural group . Cultural Appropriation definition
This is a concept of anthropology and one that is the target of many debates, mainly because it is considered an acculturation – a fusion of external cultural elements – by a dominant culture over a minority one.
Based on this interpretation, cultural appropriation is seen as a negative practice, as it consists in the use of elements from a certain culture without an understanding of the symbolic and historical meanings about them.
Anthropological studies on cultural appropriation (also called “cultural borrowing”) emerged with the intensification of contact between different cultures around the world.
Among the elements that are usually culturally appropriate are cultural expressions ranging from music, dance, traditional costumes, linguistic expressions, art, cuisine, accessories, etc. Cultural Appropriation definition
The cultural appropriation is not considered a crime , but there are people who consider it a gross disrespect from an ethical point of view, since the appropriate elements only became accepted by society from the time they were assimilated into the dominant culture.
For some critics, cultural appropriation becomes a problem when the meanings of these elements are distorted from their original historical and cultural contexts, taking on distorted interpretations that do not reveal the essence of the ethnic group to which they originally belong. Cultural Appropriation definition
Cultural appropriation should not be confused with cultural exchange , as the latter allows the exchange of cultural experiences that are equally shared between groups, without the permanence of a dominant. Appropriation, on the other hand, according to critics, is marked by the submission of a culture historically oppressed by a dominant one.
An example of criticism of cultural appropriation is the use of religious elements from certain cultures as fashion accessories by others, reducing the entire symbolic and historical load of those elements to mere decorative objects. Cultural Appropriation definition