Recuperation, in the sociological sense, is the process by which politically radical ideas and images are twisted, co-opted, absorbed, defused, incorporated, annexed and commodified within media culture and bourgeois society, and thus become interpreted through a neutralized, innocuous or more socially conventional perspective. More broadly, it may refer to the cultural appropriation of any subversive works or ideas by mainstream culture. It is the opposite of détournement, in which images and other cultural artifacts are appropriated from mainstream sources and repurposed with radical intentions.
The concept in political philosophy of recuperation was first proposed by members of the Situationist International. The term conveys a negative connotation (so that an individual who recuperates may also be described as "selling out") because recuperation generally bears the intentional consequence (whether perceived or not) of fundamentally altering the meanings behind radical ideas due to their appropriation or being co-opted into the dominant discourse.
 Examples of Recuperation
Pointing to "the erosion of publicly owned media", and capitalist realism, Aaron Peters wrote of the "recuperation of the internet by capital," saying that the consequences of this persistent corporate media recuperation included a reinforcement of status quo, repression of dissent and artistic expression.
Radical social justice advocates have identified the popular discourse of The New Jim Crow as recuperative, saying that it obscures an analysis of mass-incarceration in the United States by adhering to a counterrevolutionary contextual framework.
 See also
- Unitary urbanism
- Cultural appropriation
- Obliteration by incorporation
- Harold Rosenberg
- Kurczynski, Karen Expression as vandalism: Asger Jorn's "Modifications", in RES: Anthropology and Aesthetics No. 53/54 (Spring - Autumn, 2008), pp.295-6 quotation:
the process by which those who control the spectacular culture, embodied most obviously in the mass media, coopt all revolutionary ideas by publicizing a neutralized version of them, literally turning oppositional tactics into ideology.  The SI identified the threat of revolutionary tactics being absorbed and defused as reformist elements.  The SI pinpointed the increasingly evident problem of capitalist institutions subverting the terms of oppositional movements for their own uses  recuperation operated on all fronts: in advertising, in academics, in public political discourse, in the marginal discourses of leftist factions, and so on.
- Taylor & Francis Group (1993) Textual Practice: Volume 7 p.4 quotation:
the negative harmonization attributed to media society.  revolutionary artists of the late twentieth century are faced with problems of intelligibility, accessibility and recuperation radically different from those of their predecessors.  current concern with radical writers and media recuperation is the possibility that avant-garde revolutionary art may not be possible, recognizable, or even desirable right now.
- Radical Media: Rebellious Communication and Social Movements, p.59, quotation:
recuperation, namely, that the ruling class could twist every form of protest around to salvage its own ends.  Détournement  is the revolutionary counterpart to recuperation, a subversive plagiarism that diverts the spectacle's language and imagery from its intended use.
- Peters, Aaron. "The Communication Commons: resisting the recuperation of the internet by capital" OpenDemocracy, 25 May 2011: url http://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/aaron-peters/communication-commons-resisting-recuperation-of-internet-by-capital
- Thomas, G. "Why Some Like The New Jim Crow So Much" Vox Union, 2012: http://www.voxunion.com/why-some-like-the-new-jim-crow-so-much/?pagewanted=all
- Osel, J. "Toward Détournement of The New Jim Crow, or, The Strange Career of The New Jim Crow," International Journal of Radical Critique, 2012: http://philpapers.org/archive/OSETDO-2.1.pdf
 Further reading
- Marcus, Greil. Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the 20th Century (1989).