Authenticity

It is important to critique interpretations of Authenticity and the restrictive ways it is used, point out its limits and flaws, expand upon its reductionism, and demonstrate how its uses can be harmful for individuals as well as culture at large.  But the concept is still useful, and can be readily defined:

In the sphere of cultural production, Authenticity is a relative, mutable, non-fixed, non-singular, and non-universal concept which connotes:

A. a product having resulted from the actual subjective life experiences of its maker, created with his/her aesthetic and otherwise decisions, as opposed to decisions made from more impersonal and alienated methods such as statistical information, focus groups, etc.

B. a product originating from within a collective historical body, the shared language and customs of a social group, the cohesion of distilled individual subjective experience over time, which we can here call Culture; as opposed to imitations of such products, by superficially appropriating its language, aesthetics, or characteristics, from agents which exist outside of the particular tradition, the particular culture.

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