Skip to main content

Cultural Appropriation and the Arts

Cultural Appropriation and the Arts

James O. Young

ISBN: 978-0-470-69336-0

Apr 2008

192 pages

$80.99

Description

Now, for the first time, a philosopher undertakes a systematic investigation of the moral and aesthetic issues to which cultural appropriation gives rise.
  • 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
Preface.

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.

Authentic 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.

Summing Up.

Supporting Minority Artists.

Envoy.

Bibliography of Works Cited and Consulted.

Index

“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