Cultural appropriation is defined as a situation where a dominant, privileged culture borrows ideas, culture, or philosophies from another culture, adopt it, and make it their own without their approval.
It is important to understand cultural appropriation, why it is harmful, and the effects it can have on different communities.
Review the video, The Trouble with Cultural Appropriation.
After reviewing the video, work with a partner, if possible, or independently record your thoughts on these questions. You can record your ideas in an audio recording, on paper, on a computer, or through discussion with a partner.
- What is cultural appropriation? Create your own definition.
- Who does cultural appropriation impact?
- How can we work towards changing it?
- Can you think of any examples of cultural appropriation in our society? (For example, wearing a traditional South Asian bindi on your forehead because you think it is fashionable)
Analyzing the media text
Reflect on how this interview shared information and messaging about cultural appropriation
- How was the information and message shared in this particular clip?
- There were various people in different areas of the media sharing their points of view about this topic. Do you think this strengthened the message of the media text?
Record your thoughts in an audio recording, on paper, on a computer, in a visual representation, or through discussion.
As a class, review the article When does inspiration become appropriation? It was written by Andrew Cruickshank.
Based on your reading, consider your response to the following questions:
- When does inspiration become appropriation?
- Do you think Johnson’s art is an example of cultural appropriation? Why or why not?
Record your ideas in an audio recording, on paper, on a computer, or through a discussion with a peer or teacher.
Analyzing the media text
Reflect on how this article shared information and messaging about cultural appropriation.
- How was the information and message shared in this particular article?
- There were various interested people sharing their points of view about this topic. Do you think this strengthened the message of the media text?
Record your thoughts using the method of your choice.
Now that you have learned a little more about cultural appropriation, you will complete one of the two options:
Find some examples of images and words used by the media in popular culture. Record at least 4 of these examples. Consider sports teams, Halloween costumes, movies, tv shows. How are they appropriating different cultures? What are the messages of these images or words?
Complete the Examples of Cultural Appropriation Organizer in your notebook or using the following fillable and printable document.
|Example from popular culture||What does it represent?||How is it being used?|
Press the ‘Activity’ button to access Examples of Cultural Appropriation Organizer.
Choose one of the two media texts that you have explored in this learning activity. For this media text, choose one of the people who spoke or were referenced in the article and learn a little more about them.
- Why were they chosen as someone whose point of view is important in this conversation?
- Why is their voice being shared?
Be sure that the places you find information are reputable (which means that they are a strong and reliable source of information). If you are unsure, check with an adult.
Record what you find out about this person in an audio recording, on paper, as a visual representation, or on a computer.
Reflecting and applying
Using the work that you completed in the Minds On and Action section, record your thoughts reflecting on the following:
- How can misrepresenting a culture be considered offensive?
- What important messages were shared in this learning activity?
- If you could choose one of the media texts to share with someone about cultural appropriation, which would you choose? Why?
Record your ideas in an audio recording, on paper, on a computer, in an oral presentation, in a visual representation, or in a discussion with your teacher.
As you read the following descriptions, select the one that best describes your current understanding of the learning in this activity. Press the corresponding button once you have made your choice.
Now, expand on your ideas by recording your thoughts using a voice recorder, speech-to-text, or writing tool.
When you review your notes on this learning activity later, reflect on whether you would select a different description based on your further review of the material in this learning activity.
Press ‘Discover More’ to extend your skills.Discover More
View the video from the Minds On portion of this lesson again, or read a related article, or listen to a related podcast.
Reflect on the opinions shared. Ask yourself, “Are the opinions shared accurate?” Generalized statements and inaccurate opinions can be dangerous on both sides.