AP Human Geography
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Is Cultural Appropriation Always Wrong?

Is Cultural Appropriation Always Wrong? | AP Human Geography | Scoop.it

We sometimes describe this mingling as 'cross-pollination’ or ‘cross-fertilization’ — benign, bucolic metaphors that obscure the force of these encounters. When we wish to speak more plainly, we talk of ‘appropriation’ — a word now associated with the white Western world’s co-opting of minority cultures.


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Courtney Barrowman's insight:

unit 3

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, October 13, 2015 3:09 PM

The distinction between cultural diffusion and cultural appropriation can get very blurry, and I doubt that there is a ‘final word’ on the topic.  What is perceived as culturally inappropriate or exploitative is not clear cut.  In addition to this NY Times article about the concept of cultural appropriation, below are a few articles that can be used to discuss this idea.  These topics are by nature controversial, and you can use your discretion to know which articles are appropriate for your students given their maturity level.  I don’t agree with all the authors of these articles; I also don’t think these issues are perfect examples of cultural appropriation, but that is why they are helpful for a discussion. 


Questions to Ponder: What pushes something from cultural diffusion to cultural appropriation?  What makes these examples inappropriate or okay in your estimation? When do you feel cultural commodification is 'crossing the line' or is everything marketable fair game?  What are other examples of cultural appropriation that you can think of? 


Tagsculture, popular culturefolk cultureseconomic, unit 3 culture.

asli telli's curator insight, October 15, 2015 1:39 AM

How about "cross-polination" and "cross-fertilization" in cultures?

Sarah Nobles's curator insight, November 27, 2015 7:59 AM

Unit 3

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The long and ugly tradition of treating Africa as a dirty, diseased place

The long and ugly tradition of treating Africa as a dirty, diseased place | AP Human Geography | Scoop.it
How alarmist, racist coverage of Ebola makes things worse. A dressing down of the latest #NewsweekFail.

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Courtney Barrowman's insight:

unit 3 and 4

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Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, April 9, 2015 2:21 PM

Before I even read the article, my first thought went to the Linneaus classification.  That really damaged history with this one chart.  I think people still think of Africans and blacks(very dark blacks) as dirty or unintelligent.  Which is horrible and couldn't be further from the truth.  Misinforming the public is criminal.  News media and social media need to be careful and educate properly.  I've been asked from a customs offical, "Have you been to Africa in the past 6 months?"  Which is a very blanket question because Africa is a continent.  There were areas that were not hit with Ebola.  

Chris Costa's curator insight, October 27, 2015 4:37 PM

Those who deny the continued influence of racism in our society are blinding themselves to the truth. Contemporary influences of the racism that plagued the preceding centuries are still found in most major media depictions of Africa. The Ebola epidemic has served to highlight the bigotry that plagues Western media, as the assumption that all of Africa is diseased and dirty is continuously perpetuated (when, in reality, Ebola only affected a very small part of the continent). Africa is presented as "other," a backwards continent that is in desperate need of Western help and guidance- in what was is that different from the European colonizers who also viewed their actions as benevolent attempts to "civilize" the uncivilized? That mindset has not left Western circles, and yet we continue to pat ourselves on the back and congratulate ourselves for suddenly being so tolerant. The insensitivity of Western audiences to the concerns of black individuals both at home and in Africa related to the prevalence of racism highlights how determined mainstream media is to deny the existence of a problem. Until we recognize the Eurocentrism that continues to plague our media and make the necessary moves to correct the practice, harmful depictions of Africa will continue to loom large in Western media and in the opinions of many Europeans and Americans alike.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 30, 2015 7:12 AM

Africa has long been treated by the western media as a dark , brutish, uncivilized place. Africa is a place were people starve and murder each other in large numbers. There is so much more to Africa than the picture I just described. The problem is, many people just do not accept the existence of a culturally complex Africa. That narrative would destroy the traditional  darker narrative of the past 500 years. A narrative grounded in the beliefs that blacks are inherently inferior beings. During the Ebola crises, the calls to cut off travel to Africa were quick and demanding. Had the crises been in England, would those same calls have been so loud? I think we all can guess the answer  to that question. Much progress has been made, but we still need to change our cultural depiction of Africa.

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Our Blessed Homeland

Our Blessed Homeland | AP Human Geography | Scoop.it



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unit 3

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Evan Margiotta's curator insight, March 19, 2015 3:45 PM

How we view each other is often incredibly rash. This cartoon displays this very well. Other cultures often seems as alien as other species. However if one looks closely they can find many similarities in their cultures. This misunderstanding of culture has been at the root of many disputes and the understanding of culture has been the road to understanding  and peace. Unit 3 Culture

Michael Amberg's curator insight, March 22, 2015 2:24 PM

This picture definitely sums up almost all the wars in history, how one side is right, and one side is wrong, but according to the two sides the enemy is the one who is evil.

Paul Farias's curator insight, April 9, 2015 12:55 PM

This is great because we are taught historically what our side sees. For instance, when Britain was fighting us they saw us a rebelious bunch, and we saw them as tyrannical. Now this is where we need to see we need a fair 

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For the Muslims of CAR, it's 'leave or die'

For the Muslims of CAR, it's 'leave or die' | AP Human Geography | Scoop.it
Thousands of Muslims in the Central African Republic have fled as UN chief warns of 'ethno-religious cleansing'.

 

Leave or die.  It's come down to this for the Muslims of Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic.  Muslims here once lived freely among the Christian majority, running businesses and praying in mosques. Now, many of the city's Muslims have fled, and on Sunday about 1,300 Muslims from Bangui's PK12 neighbourhood were evacuated to safety by peacekeeping forces.

Already one of the world's poorest countries, CAR has seen a wave of upheaval and violence in the past 15 months. The 10-month reign of the Muslim-dominated Seleka rebel group inflamed intercommunal tensions in the country, and spurred the rise of Christian militias called the anti-Balaka.  Once the Seleka was forced out of power in January, the anti-Balaka rampaged, targeting Muslims across the country for their perceived support of the Seleka and its bloody excesses.


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units 2-3-4

 

ALOT of connections here!!!

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David Lizotte's curator insight, April 5, 2015 11:24 AM

This article does a good job discussing the ongoing issues in the Central African Republic. Its horrible to see a religious cleansing taking place at this point in time. One would think religious cleansing by the sword has diminished (perhaps it has in historical terms) but it is still very much alive throughout the world. What's interesting is how once religion is mixed with politics it seems bloodshed always ensues. The changing of presidents reflects the changing of "what group" controls the country/region... 

CAR is located within the struggling Sahel region. Yes, there are ecological/environmental issues that plague the Sahel region and the people whom inhabit it but the region also proposes an intense societal issue. This is the region where Arab Africa meets Black Africa, thus two distinct groups of people with two different faiths. Due to conflicts in neighboring countries, as exemplified in the article through Chad, disruption has led to Arab peoples fleeing South. The displacement of these people has led to a growing muslim population in Christian dominated Central African Republic. Once political order is involved there is always one group of people in charge. The changing of societal leaders has now led to a 15 month disruption which has now evolved into a religious ethnic cleansing. 

The Sahel region is only going to get worse. There is an issue with the climate which is affecting both the people and landscape. There is now a clash of cultures/religions. These two issues are ultimately going to clash. Not only will Christians and Arabs kill each other due to political structure and treatment of each others people but perhaps disputes over fertile land, clean water, droughts, etc... will also lead to conflict. This region of the world is in a tough predicament. The clashing of peoples is not going to improve the situation. 

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, April 9, 2015 2:36 PM

The picture is ironic because the one guy in the white tank top is holding up a peace sign and the other is threatening to slit your throat.  Oxymoronic?  I guess you could see it as a V for victory.  Not really sure.  This comes down to an eye for an eye.  The Christians and Muslims will kill each other till one group comes out on top.  I guess historically we learned nothing from the Reformation.  At one point you couldn't be Protestant, then you couldn't be Catholic.  Religious persecution should not be occurring today.  What a waste of human life.  

Kevin Cournoyer's curator insight, May 6, 2015 10:14 PM

Though the Central African Republic is a country that not many people have heard of, it seems that it suffers from some of the same problems that any other country does. CAR is home to a large Christian population, though there is a Muslim minority present within the country. The past two years have seen a Muslim rebel group called Seleka perpetrate a violent reign throughout the country, which in turn has given rise to opposition Christian groups called the anti-Balaka. After the Seleka were toppled from power, the anti-Balaka took out their fear and frustration on the country's Muslim population for perceived support of the Seleka. The anti-Balaka murdered Muslims brutally and indiscriminately, causing many Muslims in CAR to either flee or come together in enclaves for protection and support. 

 

This kind of religious persecution is unfortunately nothing new. The Jews have experienced religious persecution for thousands of years and Muslims were on the receiving end of some particularly brutal persecution during the Crusades. It seems that regardless of the time or place, religious tensions are always present and one religion or another is always ready to persecute the other for their differences, real or perceived. This is a global pattern, not unique to any one country, region, or culture. It is an unfortunate but telling one, as it highlights the tendency of human beings to be at odds with one another over any differences. The situation in CAR is representative of a larger problem of intolerance that may never seen an end.