The Between The Appropriation And Appreciation Of Race And Cultures

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Society has always struggled to discern the difference between the appropriation and appreciation of race and cultures. With the advent of new media and anonymous interactions, these struggles reach a new level of complications and concerns, thus necessitating an open platform for the development of proper etiquette. Virtual communities have an incredible potential to help individuals of different racial backgrounds understand one another, however, this potential is stagnated by the relentless perpetuation of racial stereotypes on various domains.

In modern society, it is not uncommon for people to have access to the internet. Whether one has access to the internet at home or at their local library, nearly everyone in this day and age
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Under these conditions, the potentiality for individuals to gain insights on the experiences of the oppressed is not only eradicated, but it is replaced with cheap, one-dimensional and detrimental stereotype instead.

Perhaps one problem with new media is its inconsistency in requiring elements of identity across various platforms. While it may require someone to identify a gender, it might not ask them to declare a race. The underlying problem here is society’s propensity to assume that if one does not declare their race, the default is white. By declaring a race, a user chooses to play as that race regardless of whether or not it is truly representative of who they are. There are two common outcomes of this choice.

In one instance, people of another race will elect to play the role of an Asian woman. While there are many possible ways to showcase one’s personality, most players decide to “engage in a form of hostile performance” (Nakamura 2) instead. By doing this, the achievements, challenges and experiences of Asian women are completely disregarded in favor of the romanticized belief that Asian women are docile, submissive, and exotic. This type of behavior is problematic because “roles give people new stages on which to exercise new identities, and
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