transplanting culture?
March 31, 2011 11:43 AM   Subscribe

What is it called when a language/cultural practice is transplanted to a new country, not by a diasporic group, but by interested members of the "host" country? I'm reasonably sure there's a name for this, and I can't remember it. Arg, sociologists, ethnographers and ethnomusicologists of Mefi, help, please!
posted by LN to Society & Culture (19 answers total)
Cultural appropriation? Xenocentrism?
posted by methroach at 11:59 AM on March 31, 2011

I thought of "cultural appropriation" first as well, but to me it has some negative connotations along the line of covers of black artists by white pop artists (Pat Boone comes to mind). I'd offer "borrowing", but that's probably not rigorous enough for your purposes.
posted by tommasz at 12:10 PM on March 31, 2011

posted by valkyryn at 12:10 PM on March 31, 2011

Cultural appropriation is a bit too narrow a term (in its implications in current usage, if not in literal meaning). For example th spread of Christianity by missionaries fits th OP's description, and I would hardly call it cultural appropriation (though Voodoo or Santeria may count as appropriations of Christianity).
posted by idiopath at 12:11 PM on March 31, 2011

Cross cultural integration? Syncretism? Cosmopolitanism?
posted by idiopath at 12:13 PM on March 31, 2011

By "members of the host country" do you mean natives of a country adopting elements of a foreign culture (e.g., a white Zen community in Ohio) or interested, non-diasporic members of the culture in question spreading their practices to a new place (e.g., missionaries)?
posted by theodolite at 12:19 PM on March 31, 2011

I thought I would find a term for it in one of the sites about German appropriation of Native American culture, but no.

Cultural appropriation is the best I can come up with.
posted by readery at 12:35 PM on March 31, 2011 [1 favorite]

Maybe you give a specific example of what you want to name it should be a bit easier to name it!
posted by TheGoodBlood at 12:36 PM on March 31, 2011

Wikipedia comes up with lots of relevant terms. Cultural appropriation, cultural assimilation (though I think that is prone to be taken as a minority culture integrating with a majority culture), xenocentrism, exoticism, allophilia, xenophilia, and enculturation/acculturation (though again, these seem to signify interactions between majority/minority cultures).
posted by adamrice at 12:45 PM on March 31, 2011

Ikebana International calls it 'mutual appreciation'.
posted by carsonb at 1:00 PM on March 31, 2011

(Er, that shouldn't have quotes around it. The text says 'mutual love'; 'mutual appreciation' is my broadening interpretation. Mutual mutual mutual.)
posted by carsonb at 1:02 PM on March 31, 2011

posted by Chocolate Pickle at 1:04 PM on March 31, 2011

Thanks for your suggestions, everyone. What I'm trying to express is closer to what theodolite is talking about (both choices, ironically!).

An event is being set up that is being spearheaded by a bunch of Irish-language enthusiasts. My previous question regarding this event is here. Many of us are Canadians of Irish ancestry, some of it further back in time than others, and some of us are Irish-born but not necessarily Irish-speaking by first language. There are even some immigrants from elsewhere in the world with no ancestral ties to Ireland who are involved, simply because they think the language is cool.

The event is to celebrate Irish-speaking contributions in music, poetry, language, etc in Canada. We have well-wishings and support from sister organizations in Ireland.

I'm trying to wrap my brain around what to call what we're doing. I guess you could call it cultural appropriation, but we do have Irish-born and one native Irish speaker on the organizing committee. (Our native speaker, has, in fact, been keeping us on the straight and narrow throughout the process. ) It's not meant to be plastic paddy, it's not meant to overlay a North American veneer over Irish culture. It's not meant as an opportunity for us to snap our suspenders and congratulate ourselves on that drop of Irish blood in us. If anything, we're trying to cleave as closely to the original culture as a bunch of Canadians can, with the guidance of native-born Irish.

An unintended consequence might be cultural appropriation, in that outside observers consider what we're doing to be offensive because of some power imbalance between Canadian and Irish-speakers' culture. It could be seen as exoticism, but then, Canada saw its fair share of Irish immigrants in years gone by and they have left their cultural mark on us.

It's like trying to add a drop of fresh paint to an artists' palette to refresh a colour that was already there.

Arg, I'm having trouble coming up with a good way to express this. Does the above make sense?
posted by LN at 1:34 PM on March 31, 2011

Irish heritage revitalization.
posted by adamrice at 1:45 PM on March 31, 2011 [2 favorites]

Would "cultural glocalization" make any sense?
posted by LN at 2:00 PM on March 31, 2011

You might find this article (which would term your event "ethno-nostalgic") interesting.
posted by besonders at 2:25 PM on March 31, 2011

It might depend on who's appropriating what from whom and who is naming it?

For example, in the last 10-20 years Brazilians have increasingly imported Halloween from the United States. Brazilian left wingers call it "cultural colonialism" or "being colonized".
posted by Tom-B at 3:24 PM on March 31, 2011

posted by obiwanwasabi at 4:37 PM on March 31, 2011

posted by Catfry at 7:15 PM on April 1, 2011

« Older I'll expect my slippers and a newspaper by my...   |   How should I go about trying to sell this painting... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.