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Sociological Ideas Of Thi Appropriation

Powerful Essays
Almost everyone has been to a costume party at least once in their lives. From themed birthday parties to Comic Con to Halloween festivities, there are plenty of opportunities to be someone else entirely. However, if you look around a room and see a sexy Native American princess, Storm from the X-Men covered in brown body paint, or an “authentic” and “traditional” geisha then you might notice that something is off. These costumes are insulting and derogatory to the culture they are derived from. Even worse, this offensive dabbling isn’t limited to holiday disguises. Blackface and so-called “gypsy” fashion are both examples of everyday things that have been misused and appropriated. While some may claim that they are just expressing themselves or supporting a certain group,…show more content…
A definition that sheds some light on this shadowy topic states that appropriation is “a particular power dynamic in which members of a dominant culture take elements from a culture of people who have been systematically oppressed by that dominant group,” (Johnson, 2015). This clarifies many aspects of the social problem. For one, it presents the fact that appropriation cannot be performed by demographic groups whose socioeconomic status falls within the minority. The second important piece of this definition states that appropriation is an extension of past oppression. For a word almost no one knows, appropriation holds a lot of weight. Upon hearing of it, many are jarred to their core. They claim, “[insert appropriated material here] doesn’t exclusively belong to [culture being appropriated], anyone can take part of it!” or “appropriation is just a made up word that people use to make innocent white people feel guilty,”. This kind of denial relies on the belief that oppression and racism do not exist in society today, which is both an incorrect and ignorant
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