Cultural Appropriation and Cancel Culture: A Global Survey


  • Ezedimbu Chiamaka Igbinedion University Okada, Edo, Nigeria
  • Emeka Agba Igbinedion University Okada, Edo, Nigeria
  • Femi Olufunmilade Igbinedion University Okada, Edo, Nigeria


A cultural practice that might be once unique to a particular set of people can go global. In a globalizing world, cultural diffusion has become a widespread phenomenon. This global dispersal has led to clash of cultures, giving rise to defenders - people who want to defend their culture from outsiders they view as threats i.e. outsiders with no plans to give credit to origins of the borrowed culture. This leads us to the concept of 'appropriation', which, literally, means to take something and adapt it for use in another context. This sets the background for the emergence of the concept of 'cultural appropriation'. While cultural appropriation may be novel in theory, it is not so in praxis. It can be seen in the things that constitute our day to day life. This is unlike the shallowness of the definition that most people, especially active social media users, use. Recently, it is mostly used in accusation, and is perceived as malicious intent, even in cases where none is intended. The misinterpretation of cultural appropriation is being used as an outlet for online jungle justice, ‘cancel culture’. A situation where people take law into their hands and backlash individual or group that say or perform actions that are deemed unacceptable. This paper scrutinizes the misuse of cultural appropriation as a concept and how it causes more cases of cancel culture. This study finds that cancel culture is heightened with the increased misuse of the concept cultural appropriation online and tries to proffer solution to this rising phenomena.

Key words: global, culture, appropriation

Author Biographies

Ezedimbu Chiamaka, Igbinedion University Okada, Edo, Nigeria

Ezedimbu Chiamaka is an undergraduate student at Igbinedion University Okada, Edo State, Nigeria. Currently in her fourth year studying International Relations and Strategic Studies. Her interest in international cultural studies led her to her study course and even further motivated the writing of this paper. She aspires to, through her consistent efforts, make the world a better place starting with the little she can, helping people understand the beauty of cultural exchange. Contact email:

Emeka Agba, Igbinedion University Okada, Edo, Nigeria

Dr. Emeka Agba is currently a lecturer at Igbinedion University Okada, Nigeria’s Premier Private University. He is a lecturer at the Department of International Relations and Strategic Studies, the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, the General Studies Unit, and the Buratai Center for Contemporary Security Affairs in the University. He obtained his Ph.D in Political Science in 2016 and his major areas of research interest have been International Political Economy and Conflict Studies. He has authored a major textbook on Conflict studies titled ‘An Introduction to Conflict and Peace Studies’ in addition to a number of Peer-Reviewed Journal articles on Conflict and Political economy.

Femi Olufunmilade, Igbinedion University Okada, Edo, Nigeria

Prof. Femi Olufunmilade is, currently, pioneer Director, Buratai Center for Contemporary Security Affairs, Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State, Nigeria. At Igbinedion University, prior to his current position, he was Head of Department, International Relations and Strategic Studies; and Dean, College of Arts and Social Sciences. Prof. Olufunmilade is also a pioneer of e-learning in Nigeria as Professor of Global Understanding Programme at East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA, in collaboration with his parent university in Okada. His research interests, inter alia, include China's Rise, International Security, and Peace & Conflict Studies. He has published books and articles in peer reviewed journals. His published books include: "China's Economic Miracle"   "The Rudiments of Foreign Intelligence", and an edited book of reading of the Buratai Center titled, "Perspectives on Boko Haram Insurgency". Contact email:






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