Love, Hate, and Culture Wars - Article Review Example

4 pages
887 words
Carnegie Mellon University
Type of paper: 
Article review
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The world societies display varying cultures that define peoples actions. Cultural differences can be exhibited through clothes, language, dance, music, art, and cuisines among other aspects. Although culture is distinct from one society to another, today it is common to see cultural aspects from one society in another. The cultural exchange and adoption can either be through cultural borrowing or cultural appropriation. The article love, hate and culture war illustrates and defines how culture borrowing occurs, and how it affects the people of the original culture. Every society culture has a language and meaning it covey that is understood by the individuals of that society. However, those who adopt the culture have a different narrative and definition of the culture. As the world encounter globalization, cultural borrowing, diffusion, and appropriation have become familiar, and as a result, it has become important to define the circumstances under which cultural fusion is taking shape and is it appropriate or not.

The article has captured the several scenarios in the society that have created cultural conflict. Scenes that have raised the need to define whether cultural borrowing and appropriation is good and how it can create negativity. Cultural borrowing and appropriation based on the article are used varyingly despite them having a slight similarity in the definition. The difference can be accredited to the current increasingly changing trends that are affecting the cultural system and cultural material sharing (Arewa, 2017). When it comes to cultural appropriation the importance and critical role of culture is not defined unlike in borrowing.

Today cultural borrowing and appropriation have resulted in the creation of a contested space. People are adopting clothing and hairstyle, music, and cuisines among other things from other cultures and the first societies that claim ownership of the adopted culture grow offended and they are not happy. In the article, the case of Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus wearing dreadlock has been used as an example of cultural appropriation criticism. The black American illustrates a high ownership to the dreadlock hairstyle, and they are offended seeing the whites wearing the style (Arewa, 2017). Such an incidence has created the need to understand why the black Americans were against the act and why the whites borrowed the culture.

The article has illustrated the various motivating factors and possible consequences behind today's Culture appropriation and borrowing. Love is represented as a primary reason why people adopt and borrow other peoples cultures. Some cultural aspects are intriguing, and people are consistently attracted to them. People, therefore, copy and use the trait to show affinity. Jazz music, for example, was initially a one community thing, but the constant listening to jazz resulted to the diffusion of jazz culture across many societies such that today jazz is widely played and loved. Adoption of cultures is not wrong, but how people treat the adopted culture matters, every culture should be handled with care (Arewa, 2017).

Culture borrowing according to the article can be done to cause hatred and oppression. A society that is superior can easily borrow a culture from an inferior society and use the same culture to oppress the inferior society. In such an instance, cultural appropriation is applied since there is no consent and it is used to demean the inferior community. In the article, Halloween is given as an example where people celebrate yearly wearing the black masks. This is a constant reminder of the black people years of struggle, and a common trigger of hatred. The black American music is another cultural aspect that was used by the black American to express the cruelty of the environment they lived. It was filled with bitterness as it carried with it a profound context of oppression, inequality and violence. Due to the constant play of the music enabled by current media technology, the strong message is lost (Arewa, 2017). A strong cultural aspect of the black American that reflects the nature of the environment is slowly dying.

The cultural value that each cultural trait holds is important and deserve respect by those who choose to affiliate. The speed at which globalization is taking place and digitalization of the world has left every culture exposed to erosion, replication, and borrowing. Therefore, before borrowing or adoption a culture it is necessary to dig into the meaning and essence of other that culture and how it needs to be treated by both the insiders and outsiders (Arewa, 2017). Such measures can result in reduced culture differences as every culture will be rightfully used.

The article is informative especially in the current century when cultural aspects of every community have diffused across other cultures, and the cultural shields have turned permeable. Every culture is important and deserves to be honored and respected. The article illustrates clearly basis under which culture is borrowed and appropriated and the challenges that tag along under each circumstance. The knowledge generated from the report gives a clear indication that both cultural insiders and outsiders need to be well informed of cultural traits they identify with so that when confronted with a scenario that requires cultural debating and clarity, one can persuasively inform why the culture in question is rightfully or wrongly used.



Arewa, O. B. (2017, April). Love, hate, and culture wars. In Phi Kappa Phi Forum (Vol. 97, No. 1, p. 26). National Forum: Phi Kappa Phi Journal.


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