Talk:Cultural appropriation

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The article says '"misappropriation" refers to the adoption of these cultural elements in a colonial manner' and even links to colonialism. But the to examples given, American Indians and African Americans, are not a classically colonial situations.

Could a better word be chosen? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kitplane01 (talkcontribs) 1 December 2015

I think the term Colonial is used as in Post-Colonial theories, refering to new ways of post-colonialism performed by central countries, as USA and Europe. In that case, the word is well used. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:40, 23 October 2016 (UTC)

So, only white people can "culturally appropriate"?[edit]

I'd like to see one of the SJWs with their white guilt to explain why this isn't cultural appropriation:

If you could point out which culture is being appropriated from and the significance of the items being appropraited it would help to form an explaination. Is everything in the picture supposed to be the intellectual pproperty of one ethnicity or culture?Indigenous girl (talk) 00:23, 16 January 2016 (UTC)

I'm not sure it's productive to engage with this topic, given that it doesn't seem to be geared towards improving the article. Dyrnych (talk) 00:28, 16 January 2016 (UTC)
Find something reliable, with a source stating that it is cultural appropriation, and it would be suitable for the article. Doesn't matter about the background of the person, it just needs a reliable source. Spacecowboy420 (talk) 06:49, 22 January 2016 (UTC)
I personally agree with the OP. The majority of so-called African-American culture is misappropriated, from dreadlocks originating in the "brown" Mediterranean Caucasian cultures, from Gaulia to Greece, to Phoenecian (Greek) Libya to Egyptian wigs to Parthia (Persia, Iran) & Indo-Arya (Iran & Indian sub-continent), from dreadlocks to clothing to language & slang from West Indians (Indian imports to the Caribbean) to so-called "soul food", which is absolutely poor English food from England & Acadian Creole. W124l29 (talk) 05:42, 20 April 2016 (UTC)
This is not a forum for discussing personal opinions about African-American culture. Dyrnych (talk) 16:02, 20 April 2016 (UTC)
This is a forum for discussion of objective facts.W124l29 (talk) 02:49, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
And I repeat, this is a forum for discussion of objective facts. Because you disagree with what I typed does not make it an opinion. Ignorance or denial of objective fact is something else entirely, and this article does not focus on any specific biological race or ethnicity but rather cultural appropriation & misappropriation. If it did, then I would question its validity in being on Wikipedia as much as I already do question its objectivity & objective of those who created it. We must be careful when adding sociology-specific articles to Wikipedia, being as that sociology is not a science and is entirely subject to the bias & opinionated whims of those who write articles within it. There is no peer review, and so it should not be treated as if there were. I quote WP:NOTFORUM: "In addition, bear in mind that talk pages exist for the purpose of discussing how to improve articles."; WP:NOTADVOCATE WP:NOTOPINION WP:NOTBLOG WP:NOTCENSORED WP:NPOVW124l29 (talk) 02:57, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
WP:NOTTRUTH, WP:YouShouldn'tBeTryingToDiscussAnArticleOnSociologyIfYouDon'tThinkIt'sScience, and WP:YouShouldn'tBeEditingWikipediaIfYouThinkItOnlyCoversObjectiveTruthAndIfYouThinkOnlyScienceCountsAsObjectiveTruth. -
This behavior is very hostile and should not be tolerated here. (talk) 00:32, 21 May 2016 (UTC)

- Ollyoxenfree (talk) 20:58, 7 May 2016 (UTC) ──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Sociology is not a science, and I do not appreciate your misuse of "WP:" to create some sort of condescending attempt at hashtagging a response. Wikipedia only covers objective facts. That someone might disagree with a concept, where discussion of a concept is just that, there should be verifiable balance to that conversation. This article has "problematic" bias, per WP:NOTADVOCATE WP:NOTOPINION WP:NOTBLOG WP:NOTCENSORED WP:NPOV. Again, We must be careful when adding sociology-specific articles to Wikipedia, being as that sociology is not a science and is entirely subject to the bias & opinionated whims of those who write articles within it. There is no peer review, and so it should not be treated as if there were. I quote WP:NOTFORUM: "In addition, bear in mind that talk pages exist for the purpose of discussing how to improve articles." My statements pertain especially to the wording of said articles, where they are given Wikipedia's authoritative voice as if they are indeed objective facts of truth versus subjectively formed. W124l29 (talk) 10:52, 14 May 2016 (UTC)

Sociology is a STEM discipline as recognized by the NSF. That it's not peer-reviewed is blatantly false (go browse List of sociology journals). Your personal opinions on the discipline have no bearing on how wikipedia treats Sociological academic research. EvergreenFir (talk) Please {{re}} 05:52, 21 May 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, what Evergreen said. Sociology is a social science and an academic discipline which means that it (unofficial tally) and others in that group receive move peer evaluation than anything else on the planet. Carptrash (talk) 13:56, 21 May 2016 (UTC)
Sociology is not based upon peer-reviewed empirical data in contemporary form, for decades now, and is not objective in analysis. Do you deny this? This is not my personal opinion. Shall we make motion to only allow journal-published claims sourced within these articles? W124l29 (talk) 10:14, 9 July 2016 (UTC)
For emphasis, most of the references for Cultural appropriation are from the news media, and not peer-reviewed journals as you User:EvergreenFir Carptrash suggested. Again, this is not my personal opinion. Shall we make motion to only allow journal-published claims sourced within these articles? I'm entirely sincere. W124l29 (talk) 10:19, 9 July 2016 (UTC)
As a Sociology student, I agree with the person above. It's a shame the main sources for this articule are press notes from not academic media. I'm not saying that all knowledge should come from academia, rather that every good definition should come from peer-reviewed, well-based works, and those come mainly from universities and research-cores. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:54, 23 October 2016 (UTC)

Not noteworthy, also very opinion based, request for removal[edit]

I Think this whole article is part solemnly on opinions and has no noteworthy news value, it only covers some social media discussions. I request for it to be removed. CoatThese (talk) 03:19, 18 April 2016 (UTC)

The concept of cultural appropriation exists and has been the subject of robust debate in the United States and elsewhere. It is a notable topic for an article. There are definitely dubious sources in this article, but there are also some very high-quality sources. As to "it only covers some social media discussions," I don't even know how to respond to this in light of the actual content of the article. Dyrnych (talk) 15:28, 19 April 2016 (UTC)
Agreed with Dyrnych, cultural appropriation is an important topic of discussion.--Ollyoxenfree (talk) 23:32, 20 April 2016 (UTC)
Ollyoxenfree, do you have any supporting evidence as to why or how "cultural appropriation" is important? Opinion offers virtually no value to the importance of an article. Sawta (talk) 20:23, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
Considering how often it gets in the news alone (google it), and the fact that there is plenty of sociological research (see the references of this article), that's more than enough to justify its noteworthiness.--Ollyoxenfree (talk) 20:29, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
The article contains biases leaning toward native american and african american culture when in fact every single culture is appropriated at one time or another and there should be recognition for that. Jennaheer (talk) 04:48, 3 October 2016 (UTC)

Should "Appropriation of one's culture" be deleted?[edit]

An editor inserted data on a case where people wearing clothes of their own heritage were attacked for wearing these clothes because others might misunderstand. Another editor reverted it, saying it was "undue weight".

I am not sure why this is undue weight. There is more space devoted to a number of individual cases claimed to be inappropriate appropriation. Personally, I feel that this case shows how the concept of cultural appropriation is being applied and misapplied more widely than is appropriate. Pete unseth (talk) 23:11, 19 April 2016 (UTC)

I'm not sure that "undue weight" applied to the inclusion of the incident so much as it applied to the fact that the editor created a heading-level entry for an anecdote. I agree that it could conceivably be placed elsewhere in the article, but also that it does not deserve its own heading. Dyrnych (talk) 23:14, 19 April 2016 (UTC)
Dyrnych - yeah it was the header and the size of the coverage that made me reference UNDUE. But also WP:NOTNEWS is an issue here. If this were covered by a national outlet, I'd be more inclined to include it. But as it, I'm more inclined to say exclude it entirely. Squeezing in a sentence on it somewhere would be okay-ish to me. EvergreenFir (talk) Please {{re}} 23:20, 19 April 2016 (UTC)

This shows the bias of this article in that the article does not accurately state that cultural appropriation is the mistreatment of another culture and not your own. As in other areas of the article other viewpoints are not as represented and do not hold true value.Jennaheer (talk) 04:52, 3 October 2016 (UTC)

vs. Cultural Diffusion[edit]

Right now there seems to be a very strong element of confusion in this article, namely how it relates to cultural diffusion. Diffusion is extremely common and in fact generally the rule rather than the exception throughout history. A section comparing the two concepts—reliably sourced, of course—is necessary when handling this concept. :bloodofox: (talk) 23:32, 9 July 2016 (UTC)

I also think it would be interesting to talk about cultural diffusion and how it's different from cultural appropriation. It's for sure a difficult topic to touch on since there is a fine line between the two. However, having understanding of the differences between both terms would be helpful for the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Hist204student (talkcontribs) 19:53, 8 December 2016 (UTC)

academic study section[edit]

the "academic study" section places wp:undue emhasis in that it cites only one person's work, & only one side of the debate. Lx 121 (talk) 09:07, 30 July 2016 (UTC)

...& not even an especially wp:notable one. George Lipsitz; his bio doesn't have much to say; & the claim that he is a "leading scholar" probably qualifies as both PR & "weasel wording". Lx 121 (talk) 09:35, 30 July 2016 (UTC)

Agreed. This article needs a serious review. :bloodofox: (talk) 05:51, 2 November 2016 (UTC)

Boy Scouts and Cultural appropriation.[edit]

 The earlier citation for the Zuni councilman's comment did not got to source.  The origin of the comment is found in  Behind the Zuni Masks written by Val Gendron published in 1958.  The comment was directed at the Koshare Boy Scout group performing their representations of the Shalako and Koyemsi only.  The original version of the wiki entry, created a false sense of condemnation for the group's entire effort.  The same source goes on to attribute a quote by the same Zuni councilman that condones, encourages and actually offers assistance with their continued dancing (pg 204 of the 1962 edition of the book).The second paragraph that was added, deals with role that Boy Scouts have played in preserving the Tlingit culture in Haines Alaska and is viewable on the Sheldon Museum and Cultural centers web page. Will attempt to correct the odd malware directed reference.  Durinsson (talk) 16:55, 8 August 2016 (UTC)


Just leaving this ^^^ here. And this: WP:TALK. - CorbieV 01:44, 28 August 2016 (UTC)

Declaring solidarity with a group by wearing their clothing[edit]

The article as written is overwhelmingly negative about "cultural appropriation". But there are certainly times when people do/wear something that is not normally from their culture to show solidarity with another group. For example, the article on Palestinian keffiyeh reports of people in Europe and the USA wearing keffiyehs to show solidarity with Palestinians. I presume some hardliners about cultural appreciation will object to this, but others will see it as a positive gesture. Casper ten Boom, a Gentile in Holland during WWII, tried to wear a yellow star to identify with Jews and frustrate the Nazis. There are likely other examples and contexts where people have done what is here pejoratively called "cultural appropriation", but done it for positive reasons. How does the theory of cultural appropriation handle such cases?

Wikipedia has recently become known as a hostile environment. Let's edit and discuss in friendly ways that nurture discussion, even with people with whom we may disagree, even strongly disagree. Pete unseth (talk) 14:52, 1 November 2016 (UTC)

There is a section in the article, now named "Designers doing Cultural Appropriation the right way". Seems like we should consider whether this is a case of POV. This editor assumes both that other forms of CA listed above are wrong, and that the way listed in this section is "the right way". Seems to be a POV violation to me. What do others say? Pete unseth (talk) 17:36, 1 November 2016 (UTC)

I think it would be interesting to differentiate between cultural appropriation and when an article of clothing, like the keffiyeh, is worn to show solidarity with a group of individuals. There are differences in wearing something solely as a fashion statement without crediting or even belittling the group it is taken from, or actually crediting the group and supporting them while wearing it. Again, like the case is for people who wear the keffiyah to show their support. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Hist204student (talkcontribs) 19:52, 8 December 2016 (UTC)

"Wikipedia has recently become known as a hostile environment." This is an understatement. We have users quitting after the latest edit wars and/or rejection of their work, and others getting banned over well-meaning edits. Then we wonder why we do not attract more editors.

Anyway, back to the topic. To reflect the adoption of elements from other cultures for reasons of solidarity, we need reliable sources covering the topic and connecting it to cultural appropriation. Anecdotal evidence are often interesting, but their significance and interpretation is not up to editors to decide.

And I am not even certain that the infamous yellow badge (Jews' star) counts as an element of Jewish culture. It was a practice of Medieval Islamic and Christian states to force their Jewish population to wear badges and distinctive clothing which set them apart from the rest of the population. It made Jews stand out at all times, prevented them from blending in or hiding, served as their badge of shame, and defined them as the Other. And the motive was rather clear. To quote the Canon of the Fourth Council of the Lateran (1215): "it happens at times that through error Christians have relations with the women of Jews or Saracens, and Jews and Saracens with Christian women. Therefore, that they may not, under pretext of error of this sort, excuse themselves in the future for the excesses of such prohibited intercourse, we decree that such Jews and Saracens of both sexes in every Christian province and at all times shall be marked off in the eyes of the public from other peoples through the character of their dress."

So the Jews looked like everyone else and someone had to stop them from having sexual relationships with Christians. Heaven forbid that people should be free to choose their sexual partners. The Jews did not choose to be singled out for punishment, nor was their culture expressed by a symbol chosen by their enemies.

This is not the equivalent of displaying religious symbols without understanding their significance. I doubt anyone considers the yellow badge to be sacred. Dimadick (talk) 18:48, 10 December 2016 (UTC)

I just cut this out[edit]

and moved it here for discussion, before either returning it or tossing it out. I suggest
Toss it out because it just, to me, reads like commercial for some not yet notable fellow.

"===Designers doing Cultural Appropriation the right way===

Cultural misinterpretation by society has been going around the past twenty years and a great example of a fashion designer doing cultural appropriation in the right way is the Brazilian designer Oskar Metsavath. He is a, physician, artist, entrepreneur, filmmaker and the founder of the creative brand Osklen founded in 1990. He is the pioneer for being environmentalist and leader of the sustainability movement and for carrying the concept “New Luxury” in the industry[1]). He has been the founder for several non-profit organizations and the number one promoter of environmentally friendly fabrics in Brazil such as the e-fabric and the use of raw materials in his design such as fish skin like salmon and pirarucu [2]. Nevertheless, he has won several recognitions in Brazil such as the Goodwill Ambassador in 2012, E-award and has become the member of the Greenpeace board.

One of the aspects in his career that made him stand out was, when this Brazilian designer was influenced by Brazilian and Peruvian tribes specifically the Ashaninka community that lived in the rainforest. He used traditional materials and fabrics as inspiration for his spring 2016 collection. He used tattoos and the typical colors from this tribe as an influential and crucial piece in his collection, he took a story and told it in the most accurate way. Nowadays mot fashion designers don't reattribute back to the cultures and from people they get their inspirations from.

Because he was so grateful and honored to use this iconic elements of the traditions he payed them back with the funds he made from the sustainable collection. The tribe was able to build a school and had other amazing resources thanks to the help of the designer. According to the Huffington post article in 2015 he stated that the only way to make cool sustainable fashion was “whenever we match ethics with aesthetics, it’s very probable that the piece created becomes an object of desire”.[3]
Carptrash (talk) 17:55, 1 November 2016 (UTC)


  1. ^ Metsavath, Oskar. "Community people". 
  2. ^ Metsavath, Oskar. "Pirarucu/sustainability". Retrieved Oct 11,2016.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  3. ^ Varagur, Krithika. "Is This The Right Way For Fashion To Do Cultural Appropriation?". / 


I'm going to change "Cultural appropriation is seen as controversial, even harmful..." to "Cultural appropriation may be perceived as controversial, even harmful..." Certainly, no source can speak for a universal perception in all contexts. In modern Japan men wear western-style suits and ties, but I don't know that anyone much cares. Further, the perception in even some of the more iconic cases is not universal. Many native Americans support the use of Native American symbols and names. Of course, a balanced article would discuss in detail neutral perceptions of, and support for, cultural appropriation. John2510 (talk) 16:59, 20 December 2016 (UTC)

Jazz/ Music in General[edit]

Claims that whites have stolen from blacks in the realm of music are ignorant. Do we accuse blacks of cultural theft for use of the orchestral and harmonic advances of white europeans or the melodies of mostly white songwriters? Of course not. This is because music goes in the ear, not the eye, and has nothing to do with melanin content. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:26, 27 December 2016 (UTC)

This is not a forum for discussing how ignorant or enlightened particular claims of cultural appropriation are. Dyrnych (talk) 00:33, 28 December 2016 (UTC)
But sometimes it's good to do a little reflection on what kind of bullshit we are bringing in from so-called reliable sources every once in a while. --Pudeo (talk) 17:43, 15 January 2017 (UTC)

Celtic indigeneity[edit]

It is of the opinion of many scholars and Gaels themselves that Celtic people are indigenous, having experienced centuries of colonization (see Conquest of Ireland, Acts of Proscription, Irish Land War and Highland Clearances for details, not to mention the British response to the Great Hunger/Highland Potato Famine). This and this are reliable sources that discusses the issue. As a result, I've removed the references to Celtic people being non-indigenous in the article. Thanks! Alázhlis (talk) 23:04, 13 January 2017 (UTC)

Well... They might be indigenous (although that's controversial), but they are not indigenous to Boston or Indiana (or Minnesota for the Vikings). The paragraph should be rephrased, but since that was the point being made, the history of Ireland doesn't seem particularly relevant, and appears to be original research. Grayfell (talk) 23:20, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
I will note that it's still unsourced. My sources (which directly discuss Celtic indigeneity) would seem to contradict any claim of original research. I merely offered the rest for reference. Alázhlis (talk) 23:25, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
I've tried to rephrase it to be more neutral, let me know if you think that will work. Sourced or not, Celtic indigeneity is not a simple issue, but that's not important to the paragraph. I don't see where those sources discuss U.S. teams or mascots, or much about cultural appropriate as this article defines it, which would makes this OR or WP:SYNTH, but again, the paragraph was about something else. Some team names are based on large or historically prominent populations which are not indigenous to the team's region. That's all. I don't think that particular point, at least, is controversial, but I could be wrong. It seems like a point that might be worth mentioning, but to what extent this qualifies as cultural appropriation depends on sources. Grayfell (talk) 00:23, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
I agree that describing them as immigrants seems appropriate here, but I would like to see more sources as to the exact source of those names. Please note also that all of the Goidelic languages are widely recognized as endangered--see here, here, and elsewhere, although Irish is not described as such on Wikipedia. Alázhlis (talk) 01:16, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
You're right, I stand corrected. Strangely, neither is Scottish Gaelic, although Category:Scottish Gaelic language is under Category:Endangered Celtic languages. The source used for categorization is down (for me at least), otherwise I would fix this.
I'm still reluctant to use the term endangered language in this context, however, as it's implying that being endangered is connected to appropriation. That's interesting, but it should be explained with sources, rather than simply implied. Grayfell (talk) 02:03, 14 January 2017 (UTC)