Culture and Cultural Appropriation

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We as Americans always want to leave a mark on everything we have seen or touch. America is a country that’s not built by one man and one man only. From its encounter when Christopher Columbus discovered this land, slaughtered the native Indians, the migration of slavery from the African continent, the Boston tea party, etc. all served in the creating of this grand country. Multicultural has been the backbone and foundation of this country. American culture is a melting pot of people from a different culture and background, came to share their practices such as food, art, music.

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Americans’ consumption of sugar has sped up. It’s the only country in the world with sugar consumption, ten times the amount of Indians’ sugar intake. This isn’t shocking why almost every cuisine in America has sugar, most popularly known as high fructose corn syrup. General Tso chicken is a very intriguing story on its own without having to indulge the American misconception. With the term “Cultural appropriation” on its all-time high in today’s society, I believe Americans changed general Tso chicken merely by blending these two cultures together. Chinese restaurants adopted the American way of eating to please what the locals want else they’d be forced to go out of business. However, it is wrong to take traditional food from one’s culture, modify it and then label it as authentic.

To understand what cultural appropriation is, we first need to understand the meaning of culture. According to Raymond Williams, there are three categories of culture. These are the ideal, documentary, and social. It means “the organization of production, the structure of the family, the structure of institutions which express or govern social relationships, the characteristic forms through which members of the society communicate” is what culture is all about. Though culture is something that’s shared and isn’t owned by one particular person it can also be appropriated and misused. Thus, cultural products from a minority culture are often easier to integrate than the cultural people themselves. This usually comes from people’s admiration of the cultural product they consume like art, music, fashion can exist separately from the real-life treatment of people they are appropriating from. I believe cultural appropriation happens when a person seeks power and is from a dominant culture thinks they can take from a minority culture only the part they enjoy for pleasure, with a disregard of the original meaning of the cultural product.

Often in the media people of color with broader hip are belittled and insulted for having such qualities but they praise others for having such structures without having to be from that culture. When a person whose culture is being appropriated and depicted can suffer from injuries in ways one can never understand.

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Culture and cultural appropriation. (2021, Oct 07). Retrieved February 5, 2023 , from

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