This purpose of this study was to analyze perceptions of cultural appropriation in hiphop, comparing and contrasting responses across racial (Black and White) and gendered (male and female) lines. Specifically, I asked participants of their own habits regarding African American Vernacular (AAV) usage and listening to hiphop, as well as their personal views on appropriation as a whole. This study utilized 12 ethnographic interviews of College of Wooster juniors and seniors to comprise the data analyzed—three Black men, three Black women, three White men, and three White women. Through a lens of standpoint theory my analysis resulted in two larger patterns. The first pattern suggested participants that had only one identified major marginalized identity (Black men’s blackness and White women’s womanhood) tended to view Iggy Azalea’s appropriation only through the marginalized identity they claimed. The second pattern suggested participants with two or no identified major marginalized identities (Black women and White men) have either the tendency or capacity to view Iggy Azalea’s appropriation through both gendered and racial standpoints. Through my analysis, I have found that it is quintessential for White Americans to purposely insert themselves in diverse environments designed to facilitate discussions of diversity and the exchange of standpoints to avoid contributing to the negative ramifications of exploitive cultural appropriation. These environments could also potentially yield positive results for aspiring hiphop artists, who gain much of their authority in hiphop through the report of their own genuine experiences. Iggy Azalea notoriously does not do this, by adopting and misusing AAV for the purpose of her hiphop performances.


Bostdorff, Denise


Communication Studies


African American Studies | Other Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Women's Studies


Iggy Azalea, cultural appropriation, African American Vernacular, AAV, standpoint theory, ethnographic interview, racism, sexism

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2018 Pharon R. Wright