Cultural Appropriation Without Cultural Essentialism?

Social Theory and Practice 42 (2):343-366 (2016)
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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.

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Author's Profile

Erich Hatala Matthes
Wellesley College

Citations of this work

Cultural appropriation and the intimacy of groups.C. Thi Nguyen & Matthew Strohl - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (4):981-1002.
Cultural appropriation and oppression.Erich Hatala Matthes - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (4):1003-1013.
Aesthetic obligations.Robbie Kubala - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (12):e12712.
Repatriation and the Radical Redistribution of Art.Erich Hatala Matthes - 2017 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 4:931-953.
The Ethics of Historic Preservation.Erich Hatala Matthes - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (12):786-794.

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Race, Culture, Identity: Misunderstood Connections.Kwame Anthony Appiah - 1996 - The Tanner Lectures on Human Values 17:51-136.
Oppressions: Racial and other.S. Haslanger - forthcoming - Racism in Mind:97--123.

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