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Appropriation in sociology is, according to James J. Sosnoski, "the assimilation of concepts into a governing framework...[the] arrogation, confiscation, [or] seizure of concepts." According to Tracy B Strong it contains the Latin root proprius, which, "carries the connotations not only of property, but also of proper, stable, assured and indeed of common or ordinary." He elaborates: "I have appropriated something when I have made it mine, in a manner that I feel comfortable with, that is in a manner to which the challenges of others will carry little or no significance. A text, we might then say, is appropriated when its reader does not find himself or herself called into question by it, but does find him or herself associated with it. A text is successfully appropriated insofar as the appropriator no longer is troubled with it; it has become a part of his or her understanding, and it is recognized by others as 'owned,' not openly available for interpretation."

Misappropriation according to Gloria Anzaldúa is "the difference between appropriation [(misappropriation)] and proliferation is that the first steals and harms; the second helps heal breaches of knowledge."

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