In theory, having a topic linked to my research background hit the limelight should be a Good Thing and a source of Career Opportunities. In practice, what I find is at best that cultural appropriation sold out when it went mainstream.
I know (having studied this stuff during my doctoral research) that there are serious, or at least well-meaning, concerns involved about the sustainability of minority cultures amidst predominant ones, or about the commodification of things held sacred. (Less often about abstract notions of offensiveness, since being in a position to care about what well-off undergrads are wearing at parties is itself a luxury—whisper it, a privilege—in global terms. Hence Young on profound offence.) There was always silly stuff as well, but a few years ago there was usually some effort involved in finding it. Now it comes pre-excoriated in the popular press, and of course the most ill-considered examples have gained the most prominence. (Sometimes aided by excitable reportage, as with the suggestion that anyone could threaten Mexican cultural integrity by donning a sombrero.)
So far reactions have included bemusement, disdain and exasperation; and I am going to have to pull rank and add an extra touch of intellectual snobbery to the mix, because good grief, what a bunch of narcissistic parvenus.
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