Cultural Appropriation Without Cultural Essentialism?

Social Theory and Practice 42 (2):343-366 (2016)
Authors
Erich Hatala Matthes
Wellesley College
Abstract
Is there something morally wrong with cultural appropriation in the arts? I argue that the little philosophical work on this topic has been overly dismissive of moral objections to cultural appropriation. Nevertheless, I argue that philosophers working on epistemic injustice have developed powerful conceptual tools that can aid in our understanding of objections that have been levied by other scholars and artists. I then consider the relationship between these objections and the harms of cultural essentialism. I argue that focusing on the systematic nature of appropriative harms may allow us to sidestep the problem of essentialism, but not without cost.
Keywords cultural appropriation  essentialism  epistemic injustice  art  misrepresentation  social margainilization
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ISBN(s) 0037-802X
DOI 10.5840/soctheorpract201642219
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The Ethics of Historic Preservation.Erich Hatala Matthes - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (12):786-794.

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