December 11, 2019, 11:22:21 AM

Author Topic: Cultural Conflicts  (Read 6884 times)

Offline ChristinaJL

Re: Cultural Conflicts
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2011, 09:28:05 AM »
Thanks for the suggestions, my amazon kindle list is ever growing longer!!!

Offline benaaronovitch

Re: Cultural Conflicts
« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2011, 10:12:58 AM »
To be fair Wayne, I'm going off 'big' fantasy, not some tiny publisher that publishes obscure books. I'm thinking Tor, Orion/Gollancz/Hachette, HaperVoyager and the like.

Lets have a quick look through Orion/Gollancz's big things shall we?

Abercrombie - Heroes/ First Law
Aaronovitch (sp?) - Rivers of London
Wooding - Retribution Falls
Sanderson - Mistborn/Way of King
Donaldson - Against All things Ending
Lynch - Lies of Locke Lamora

And then the slightly different one:
Charlaine Harris - Dead in the Family

All of those have the same 'cultural' basis. You'll notice all the top five are white males in their 20s and 30s, writing predominantly Urban Fantasy, for a predominantly white-male-20something group.

Charlaine Harris, on the other hand, writes 'paranormal' - not necessarily romance, but its different, and she thus has a dfferent readership.

Fantasy at the moment is dominated by the Urban, the Western, and fortunately or unfortunately, its just the way it is.

Can I just point out that, and this isn't meant as a criticism of the basic point, that it is an error to lump American and British authors together into a homogeneous 'white' lump. While there is plenty of overlap in life experiences and culture there remain sufficient cultural differences between British and American culture and their fantasy traditions to make such a agglomeration problematic.

I'd also like to point out that as of yet nobody, least of all me, has any idea about who the readership for Rivers of London is going to be. We're all just winging it at the moment.

Plus I'm in my mid-40s - though thank you for thinking otherwise.

Yours - Ben Aaronovitch :)

Offline The Mad Hatter

Re: Cultural Conflicts
« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2011, 04:56:25 PM »
Can I just point out that, and this isn't meant as a criticism of the basic point, that it is an error to lump American and British authors together into a homogeneous 'white' lump. While there is plenty of overlap in life experiences and culture there remain sufficient cultural differences between British and American culture and their fantasy traditions to make such a agglomeration problematic.

I'd also like to point out that as of yet nobody, least of all me, has any idea about who the readership for Rivers of London is going to be. We're all just winging it at the moment.

Plus I'm in my mid-40s - though thank you for thinking otherwise.

Yours - Ben Aaronovitch :)

Canadian, or Australian, or New Zealander...

My Mother-In-Law is as prim and proper and English lady as you can imaged. She's also now the Poet Laureate of the Temiskaming District.

When my wife's family moved to Canada from England, there were a few cultural complications. Like when Mom asked someone at church to come around and knock her up in the morning...

In England the lamplighters would go around in the morning, putting the street lamps out, and for a few pennies, would use the long device which put out the lamps to knock on your window to wake you. Of course that isn't what it means in Canada or the United States.

Sometimes the closest cultures can cause the greatest conflict, because they are so close, and you aren't expecting them to do and say strange things.

Wayne aka The Mad Hatter
« Last Edit: January 30, 2011, 01:38:39 AM by The Mad Hatter »

Offline frankiehunter

Re: Cultural Conflicts
« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2011, 06:36:34 PM »
sorry, but I it seems to me, that this discussion doesn't fit in this forum.
I really don't know why we are discussing about this issue?!
this is a open forum and everyone is allowed to write about his/her opinion...
current example: someone likes or doesn't mind sex or cursing in fantasy and someone not.

what is much more important is respect! we all should respect other points of view and don't be offended.

this post is not meant as aggressive as it may sounds...
Nothing's true - anything is allowed!

Offline MTMaenpaa

Re: Cultural Conflicts
« Reply #19 on: January 24, 2011, 07:08:57 PM »
I've been perusing the threads and this one popped out at me.  It seems as if we're discussing socio-cultural groups as targets for Fantasy literature.  Have we considered the ramifications of Cultural Appropriation in Fantasy?

To paraphrase wikipedia, Cultural Appropriation is when a larger culture appropriates an element or symbol of another, often smaller, culture.  This can be used to describe acculturation but also cultural assimilation.  Yet cultural appropriation often has a negative connotation, since it often comes hand in hand with some sort of racial stereotype.

So how does that matter in writing (or reading) works of Fantasy?  How many 'wise old mystics' have you seen that speak in riddles?  How many quiet, dark-skinned killers?  How many ruthless savages?  Cultural appropriation.  And most of the time you won't even noticed, because some of these stereotypes are so ingrained into the rules of the genre.  If you do notice, perhaps its only to mutter irritably about 'stock characters.'

When discussing conflict across cultures, its not fair to just discuss societal norms and taboos.  People are flexible, and often if introduced to something that their mind desires, they will break cultural strata to at least investigate the matter.  But what happens when someone sees what amounts to a parody of some aspect of their culture?  Isn't that far worse than cussing in front of somebody's parent?
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Offline The Mad Hatter

Re: Cultural Conflicts
« Reply #20 on: January 24, 2011, 11:10:32 PM »
I've been perusing the threads and this one popped out at me.  It seems as if we're discussing socio-cultural groups as targets for Fantasy literature.  Have we considered the ramifications of Cultural Appropriation in Fantasy?

To paraphrase wikipedia, Cultural Appropriation is when a larger culture appropriates an element or symbol of another, often smaller, culture.  This can be used to describe acculturation but also cultural assimilation.  Yet cultural appropriation often has a negative connotation, since it often comes hand in hand with some sort of racial stereotype.

So how does that matter in writing (or reading) works of Fantasy?  How many 'wise old mystics' have you seen that speak in riddles?  How many quiet, dark-skinned killers?  How many ruthless savages?  Cultural appropriation.  And most of the time you won't even noticed, because some of these stereotypes are so ingrained into the rules of the genre.  If you do notice, perhaps its only to mutter irritably about 'stock characters.'

When discussing conflict across cultures, its not fair to just discuss societal norms and taboos.  People are flexible, and often if introduced to something that their mind desires, they will break cultural strata to at least investigate the matter.  But what happens when someone sees what amounts to a parody of some aspect of their culture?  Isn't that far worse than cussing in front of somebody's parent?

Bravo! An excellent point.

Which is causing me a few chuckles, because my protagonist is a quiet, dark skinned killer. FYI, if I spend much time in the sun, I turn a dark leather color. It's that Italian heritage ;)

Wayne aka The Mad Hatter

Offline The Mad Hatter

Re: Cultural Conflicts
« Reply #21 on: January 26, 2011, 07:05:24 AM »

First off, I hate most American TV. It's like sitting down to eat a meal in an incredibly expensive restaurant, and being served pablum. There are a few good shows, and the vast majority. It's an excellent illustration of Sturgeon's Law - 90% of everything is shit.

The other day, I read an article about a show called 'Skins', which the yanks are remaking from the British show of the same name, and some of the problems they are having, i.e. the British show would be considered child pornography in the U.S.A., and thinking about this thread. So I talked to my daughter. She's been trading letters with one of her cousins who lives in England, and I know they've been trading DVDs that they've made using their PVRs, and sure enough, one of the shows that Emily had PVRed and mailed to Vicky was the British version of Skins, so we watched the first two episodes tonight.

The show is damned funny, and brought back memories of High School. And yes, it would probably class as child pornography in the U.S.A. due to the nudity. Never mind the swearing - that along would get it tossed from American broadcast TV.

But it's shown on broadcast TV in England.

Cultural differences.

Wayne aka The Mad Hatter


Offline Overlord

Re: Cultural Conflicts
« Reply #22 on: January 26, 2011, 08:24:27 AM »

First off, I hate most American TV. It's like sitting down to eat a meal in an incredibly expensive restaurant, and being served pablum. There are a few good shows, and the vast majority. It's an excellent illustration of Sturgeon's Law - 90% of everything is shit.

The other day, I read an article about a show called 'Skins', which the yanks are remaking from the British show of the same name, and some of the problems they are having, i.e. the British show would be considered child pornography in the U.S.A., and thinking about this thread. So I talked to my daughter. She's been trading letters with one of her cousins who lives in England, and I know they've been trading DVDs that they've made using their PVRs, and sure enough, one of the shows that Emily had PVRed and mailed to Vicky was the British version of Skins, so we watched the first two episodes tonight.

The show is damned funny, and brought back memories of High School. And yes, it would probably class as child pornography in the U.S.A. due to the nudity. Never mind the swearing - that along would get it tossed from American broadcast TV.

But it's shown on broadcast TV in England.

Cultural differences.

Wayne aka The Mad Hatter



The USA version has already been broadcasted and to be honest it is garbage. Season 1 and season 3 of UK skins was great but season 2 and season 4 were awful. The way the show works is that it is in sets of two, the first series of two builds the characters up and the second series shows their downfalls. Every two seasons they swap the cast. Season 5 is about to start in the UK next week (3rd cast).

Ten times funnier than Skins if you have not seen it is a show called 'The Inbetweeners' by far my favourite TV show. Same kind of situation... college students going to college and getting in trouble with sex, dodgy situations, etc, but it is more adult based humour - aimed at 20's onwards. You should definitely check it out.
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Offline Eclipse

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Re: Cultural Conflicts
« Reply #23 on: October 24, 2019, 08:24:14 PM »
I've been perusing the threads and this one popped out at me.  It seems as if we're discussing socio-cultural groups as targets for Fantasy literature.  Have we considered the ramifications of Cultural Appropriation in Fantasy?

To paraphrase wikipedia, Cultural Appropriation is when a larger culture appropriates an element or symbol of another, often smaller, culture.  This can be used to describe acculturation but also cultural assimilation.  Yet cultural appropriation often has a negative connotation, since it often comes hand in hand with some sort of racial stereotype.

So how does that matter in writing (or reading) works of Fantasy?  How many 'wise old mystics' have you seen that speak in riddles?  How many quiet, dark-skinned killers?  How many ruthless savages?  Cultural appropriation.  And most of the time you won't even noticed, because some of these stereotypes are so ingrained into the rules of the genre.  If you do notice, perhaps its only to mutter irritably about 'stock characters.'

When discussing conflict across cultures, its not fair to just discuss societal norms and taboos.  People are flexible, and often if introduced to something that their mind desires, they will break cultural strata to at least investigate the matter.  But what happens when someone sees what amounts to a parody of some aspect of their culture?  Isn't that far worse than cussing in front of somebody's parent?

Hmm, can’t say I’ve come across that many ruthless savages.

Also didn’t realise that Ben aaronovitch is an inactive member of the Forum and has posted in this thread.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2019, 08:27:12 PM by Eclipse »
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Re: Cultural Conflicts
« Reply #24 on: October 25, 2019, 06:00:50 PM »
And now I realise that this old thread is sort of linked to my new one, but I didn't post here because I wasn't really talking about cultural appropriation, if anything it's the complete opposite.

Question: can you even notice cultural appropriation if you're not from the culture alegedly being appropriated?
I'm thinking about food, for example, as that's where I noticed some items, hehe
« Last Edit: October 25, 2019, 06:02:46 PM by ScarletBea »
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Offline Yora

Re: Cultural Conflicts
« Reply #25 on: October 25, 2019, 06:58:00 PM »
Probably not. Which is the reason why people have a grievance when something is actually appropriated.

As someone who doesn't know anything about a thing, I have no way to tell if an author is explaining it correctly or just trying to sell his own misinformed view as the real thing.
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Online cupiscent

Re: Cultural Conflicts
« Reply #26 on: October 25, 2019, 11:35:01 PM »
Like Yora says. Which is why it's important to listen to those who are of a thing, when they say it's being misrepresented. (I mean, everyone's an individual and no single person's experience of a thing is the thing entire, but listen widely and you will hear the overall view.)

Offline Yora

Re: Cultural Conflicts
« Reply #27 on: October 26, 2019, 08:25:10 AM »
Now that's another can of worms. I guess more often than not, even within the same culture you will have different people interpreting the same thing in different ways. For religious questions, that's called heresy and can get super ugly. But you can also get the same thing about conflicting opinions on which are the true traditional ingredients for a food.
I think when you simply include an element and mention that it exist, without explaining its true traditional meaning, you are fine. At least ethically. There will always be people who will be completely losing their shit over anything that doesn't conform to cultural segregation.
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