What's The Difference Between Cultural Appropriation Vs Appreciation
Let us start by understanding the meaning of culture appropriation and culture appreciation, and then we will move on to how these two terms are applied to American sign language (ASL).
Culture, heritage, and values are the strength of a tribe, community, or even a nation. There was a time in the pre-historic era when the rich, famous, and influential people would rob the minorities of their culture and use it or flaunt it without giving credit to the original owners. This is nothing but culture appropriation.
On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with appreciating other cultures and values and using them with permission. This practice is called culture appreciation, where a practice is duly followed and used, but only after giving due credit to the originators or owners.
This was initiated when people started admiring and incorporating different wardrobe, food, art, or literature trends and values from other nations or communities. Gradually, these terms were associated with the fashion, media, and glamour industries.
Here, we will discuss both these terms in the context of American sign language.
What Is Culture Appropriation And Culture Appreciation In Sign Language Level 1 And Level 2 Sign Language?
Adopting American sign language level 1 technique, even when you are not deaf, and teaching ASL through online and offline means to people (who again are not deaf), for money is an example of Culture Appropriation.
We must remember that ASL is not a trend. It belongs to people who need it for communication and understanding and holds a lot of relevance if it comes from the same community. A deaf person is the best judge and teacher of ASL to deaf people, as there is an understanding and commonality between the teacher and the student.
On the other hand, people treating ASL as another language to add to their profile, or getting a sign printed on their glamorous tees, is not appreciated and is a sheer example of cultural appropriation.
Key Differences Between Culture Appropriation And Culture Appreciation In American Sign Language
Here are the key differences between both terms in the context of ASL:
- In the case of cultural appropriation, the ultimate goal is to make profits and earnings by teaching sign language. In the case of cultural appreciation, the idea is to only teach ASL to people who are deaf or hard of hearing, which comes directly from deaf content creators and teachers, and the ultimate goal is not to make money but to help them communicate.
- Bragging about the knowledge of ASL is appropriation. While communicating the history, background, and voices of people who are deaf or hard of hearing to them is appreciation.
- When it is about gaining praise and fame, exploiting the ASL language for social media nuisances and using it at someone else's expense is appropriation. Learning from people who are deaf or hard of hearing, following deaf social media influencers, and purchasing content and level 2 sign language ASL products only from them is a sheer example of cultural appreciation.
Now that we know the difference between cultural appropriation and appreciation, in the case of ASL, we should be wary of such trends where the prestigious language is used to make money or a trend.
Trust credible resources like Cudoo to learn American sign language level 1 and level 2 sign language, which is imparted by deaf people and pays its due to deaf writers, creators, teachers, and even students.
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