Cultural Misrepresentation In The Media

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How many times have you seen a white person paint their face to be another race as a “costume”? How about a model wearing a Native American headdress? These are examples of cultural appropriation, an issue our society often pushes to the side. Cultural appropriation is the misrepresentation of a minority group by a dominant culture. It occurs in media, music, Hollywood, and everyday life. The cultures which are mistreated are ones that have been abused in the past as well. This distortion of culture is often harmful and offensive, and it a problem that needs a solution. In modern society, culture is an issue that is debated often, as people argue whether the misrepresentation of minorities in media is really a problem that needs to be addressed because many do not realize the harm of it. Erich Hatala Matthes, professor of moral philosophy, says, “Cultural appropriation can often seem morally problematic. When the abstract schemas above are filled in with details from actual events, we often find misrepresentation, misuse, and theft of the stories, styles, and material heritage of people who have been historically dominated and remain socially marginalized” (Matthes 343). When dominating groups of people (i.e. white people) misuse and twist the history of other groups, it is harmful and offensive. The people who are being misrepresented are often those who have been discriminated against in history. The use of their culture often demeans them even further. Olufunmilayo B.
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