Chapter One: What is Cultural Appropriation?:.
Art, Culture, and Appropriation.
Types of Cultural Appropriation.
What is a Culture?.
Objections to Cultural Appropriation.
In Praise of Cultural Appropriation.
Chapter Two: The Aesthetics of Cultural Appropriation:.
The Aesthetic Handicap Thesis.
The Cultural Experience Argument.
Aesthetic Properties and Cultural Context.
Authenticity and Appropriation.
Cultural Experience and Subject Appropriation.
Appropriation and the Authentic Expression of a Culture.
Chapter Three: Cultural Appropriation as Theft:.
Harm by Theft.
Possible Owners of Artworks.
Cultures and Inheritance.
Lost and Abandoned Property.
Cultural Property and Traditional Law.
Collective Knowledge and Collective Property.
Ownership of Land and Ownership of Art.
Property and Value to a Culture.
Cultures and Intellectual Property.
Some Conclusions about Ownership and Appropriation.
The Rescue Argument.
Chapter Four: Cultural Appropriation as Assault:.
Other Forms of Harm.
Cultural Appropriation and Harmful Misrepresentation.
Harm and Accurate Representation.
Cultural Appropriation and Economic Opportunity.
Cultural Appropriation and Assimilation.
Art, Insignia, and Cultural Identity.
Cultural Appropriation and Privacy.
Chapter Five: Profound Offence and Cultural Appropriation:.
Harm, Offence, and Profound Offence.
Examples of Offensive Cultural Appropriation.
The Problem and the Key to its Solution.
Social Value and Offensive Art.
Freedom of Expression.
The Sacred and the Offensive.
Time and Place Restrictions.
Toleration of Offensive Art.
Reasonable and Unreasonable Offence.
Conclusion: Responding to Cultural Appropriation.
Supporting Minority Artists.
Bibliography of Works Cited and Consulted.
“Cultural Appropriation and the Arts, by James O. Young, provides an analytical, comprehensive overview of ethical and aesthetic issues concerning cultural appropriation.” (Journal of Cult Economy, 25 March 2011)
“Young tackles an ambitious subject in this book. Culture, appropriation, and art, the keywords in the book's title, are all notoriously difficult to define. Young does not dedicate his book to defining these terms. Instead he clarifies family resemblances of these concepts, which he uses to make a case against cultural appropriation generally and the incorporation of cultural appropriation in the arts specifically. Recommended.” (Choice, November 2008)
“The chief virtue of the book, [is] the conceptual clarifications Young brings to this diffuse topic, in particular the basic distinctions among types of appropriation.” (Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews)
"This book could only have come about through many years of travel and scholarly investigation. It is a valuable introduction for those not familiar with the literature on this interesting subject. Cultural Appropriation and the Arts will become the standard work in this field for many years to come, and undergraduates could gain every bit as much from its interesting examples and clear arguments as graduate students and professionals can." (Phil Jenkins, Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, vol. 67, no.)
- Cultural appropriation is a pervasive feature of the contemporary world (the Parthenon Marbles remain in London; white musicians from Bix Beiderbeck to Eric Clapton have appropriated musical styles from African-American culture)
- Young offers the first systematic philosophical investigation of the moral and aesthetic issues to which cultural appropriation gives rise
- Tackles head on the thorny issues arising from the clash and integration of cultures and their artifacts
- Questions considered include: “Can cultural appropriation result in the production of aesthetically successful works of art?” and “Is cultural appropriation in the arts morally objectionable?”
- Part of the highly regarded New Directions in Aesthetics series
A term used to describe the taking over of creative or artistic forms, themes, or practices by one cultural group from another. It is in general used to describe Western appropriations of non‐Western or non‐white forms, and carries connotations of exploitation and dominance. The concept has come into literary and visual art criticism by analogy with the acquisition of artefacts (the Elgin marbles, Benin bronzes, Lakota war shirts, etc.) by Western museums.
The term emerged during the last twenty years of the 20th cent. as part of the vocabulary of the post‐colonial critique of Western expansionism. One early significant discussion was by Kenneth Coutts‐Smith in ‘Some General Observations on the Concept of Cultural Colonialism’ (1976), where he brings together the Marxist notion of ‘class appropriation’ (the dominant class appropriating and defining ‘high culture’) and what he calls ‘cultural colonialism’, though he himself does not combine the two in the phrase ‘cultural appropriation’. The problem had been identified earlier in the century, though not in these terms, by the New Negro and Harlem Renaissance writers in the USA, who were concerned by the caricature of the African‐American voice and folk traditions in minstrelsy shows and in such popular successes as J. C. Harris's Brer Rabbit stories. On the other hand, Harlem Renaissance writers such as Alain Locke (1886–1954) welcomed the Modernist enthusiasm for African art. In more recent discussion the Modernist engagement with what were seen as primitive art forms (see Primitivism) has been seen as highly problematic. As this suggests, how an artist or writer's use of other cultures should be judged is a matter of interpretation: what one critic might condemn as ‘cultural appropriation’ another would discuss more neutrally as ‘influence’, or even praise as ‘postmodern hybridity’. One of the finest discussions of these issues, although it does not use the term ‘cultural appropriation’, is Michael North's The Dialect of Modernism: Race, Language, and Twentieth‐Century Literature (1994). North is centrally concerned with what has been called ‘voice appropriation’, for example G. Stein's use of an African‐American voice in her short story ‘Melanctha’. ‘Voice appropriation’ has also been debated in terms of gender, as in feminist critiques of Joyce's representation of female conciousness in the Molly Bloom sequence.