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A Blog on Microaggressions

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A Blog on Microaggressions

Derald Wing Sue

A Blog on Microaggressions

David P. Rivera

A Blog on Microaggressions

Writing for Psychology Today, TC’s Sue draws on two of his recent books


Derald Wing Sue, Professor of Psychology and Education and a leading expert on micragressions—the subtle, often unintended insults and snubs directed toward people based solely on their membership in a socially devalued group—is now blogging on that topic on the Psychology Today website. Go to the blog at: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/microaggressions-in-everyday-life

Co-authored with David P. Rivera, a doctoral candidate in counseling psychology at TC, the blog—“Microaggressions in Everyday Life” (http://bit.ly/dhMgFw) –draws heavily from two books Sue published this year: Microaggressions in Everyday Life: Race, Gender and Sexual Orientation, and Microaggressions and Marginality: Manifestations, Dynamics and Impact, both published by John Wiley and Sons.

The latter book, is an edited volume of essays by experts in psychology and discrimination—many of them current and former graduate students of Sue’s at Teachers College. The book is the product of eight years of research, across “a broad spectrum of society who have been treated as second-class citizens and lesser beings, thereby being marginalized and disempowered,” Sue writes. It disposes of the notion that microaggressions are only manifestations of racism, making clear that they can be inflicted on many other marginalized groups as well.

The authors studied microaggressions against racial and ethnic; international and cultural; gender; and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender groups; specific populations such as African Americans, Latino/a and Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, Indigenous populations, biracial and multiracial people, as well as people with disabilities, members of a certain class, and religious groups.

In the Psychology Today blog, Sue and Rivera, co-author of a chapter in the book about microaggressions against Latinos/as, write:  “We have begun documenting how African Americans, Asian Americans, American Indians and Latina(o) Americans who receive these everyday psychological slings and arrows experience an erosion of their mental health, job performance, classroom learning, the quality of social experience, and ultimately their standard of living.”

In a short video produced by the publisher, Sue outlines five things that people can do to combat microaggressions and other forms of bias and discrimination:
  1. Learn from constant vigilance of your own biases and fears;
  2. Remember that everyone brings their own experiences to bear when interacting w/ people of a different race, culture and ethnicity;
  3. Don’t be defensive;
  4. Be open to discussing your own attitudes and biases; and
  5. Stand personally against all forms of bias and discrimination.

The views expressed in the previous article are solely those of the speakers to whom they are attributed. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the faculty, administration, or staff either of Teachers College or of Columbia University.

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