When patterns of borrowing fail to acknowledge their sources and compensate them, they can be categorized as cultural appropriation. This is particularly the case when cultural flows reflect, reinforce, or magnify inequalities. Even in instances where sources receive compensation, later compensation does not always redress past inequities.

The Linda family did eventually receive compensation after filing suit. When Linda died in 1962, his widow could not afford to purchase a gravestone. His daughter died of AIDS-related illness in 2001 because she was unable to afford anti-retroviral medication.

How to block exploitative practices

Understanding the context of borrowing is important for preventing exploitative cultural appropriation. An understanding of both borrowing and appropriation should be incorporated into legal, business, and other institutional frameworks.

In fields such as intellectual property law, greater recognition of the power structures underlying borrowing in different contexts is important.

This can be an important starting point for blocking future exploitative cultural flows. And it can help prevent extraction of more cultural booty.

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

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