As cultural appropriation definitely is my favourite paradigm I will teach a course on it during the upcoming winter term. Here’s the abstract:
With sociocultural anthropology opening itself up to modernity and the global, the paradigm of cultural appropriation of worldwide diffusing goods achieved a prominent place. This model for further discussion emerged from observing local rededications of artefacts completely unanticipated by the creators of the artefacts in question. Therefore cultural appropriation is a counterdraft to interpretations of globalisation as either culturally leveling or as abetting cultural fundamentalism. The perspective of the concept of appropriation furthers the understanding of global sociocultural interweavements. Admittedly the focus of most studies done so far is on the cognitive-intellectual process of ascribing new meanings, not so much on the actual reworking of industrial artefacts. Recent anthropological studies have started to close this gap. In opposition to perspectives of adaptation, assigning economically, psychologically, and culturally passive consumer-roles to the protagonists, the perspective of appropriation emphasises action and creativity giving birth to innovation.