Appropriation Expropriated

No Comments

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.

Would you like to be the first to respond...?

Comments usually take time to appear, because they are manually scrutinised for signs of spam. Please wait for your host to come along and set matters to rights.