SOC102 – Buddha Heads and Crosses: Cultural Appropriation

Abstract

Last week, we talked about culture and the elements that make up culture. We expand on that notion this week by discussing cultural appropriation – something that happens in all aspects of our social life, from music to fashion, and even history. Cultural appropriation, from a sociological perspective, is inherently tied to the notion of profit-making in our capitalist society. But how can we, as everyday individuals, appreciate culture without appropriating it? Join us as we try to tease apart this hairy question!

Keywords

cultural appropriation, cultural appreciation, society, sociology, bourdieu

Resources

  1. Bari Weiss’ New York Times article, “3 Cheers for Cultural Appropriation”
  2. Rich Juzwiak’s rebuttal to Weiss on Jezebel, called “Oh Cute, The New York Times is Endorsing Cultural Appropriation”
  3. Pierre Bourdieu’s Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste (Routledge Classics) (1979) 
  4. Chance the Rapper’s large donation to Chicago-area public schools
  5. Other rappers discussed in this episode: Kendrick LamarJuvenileNotorious B.I.G.’s “Gimme the Loot”Jay-Z
  6. News coverage on dreadlock incident in San Francisco
  7. The 2013 movie 12 Years A Slave

 

Have you struggled with this notion of appropriation VS appreciation? How do you navigate such a choice? Let us know in the comments below!