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Understanding the Tenets & Nuances of Microaggressions

Competency #10

Understanding the Tenets and Nuances of Microaggressions


Culturally responsive educators understand the tenets and Nuances of the impact that microaggressions have on the entire school community, which includes students, teachers, staff, and parents. They are also very cognisant to the damage that microaggressions carry and openly discuss these implications with their students. The lead researcher on this subject is Dr. Derald Wing Sue, and he defines microaggressions as the following:

Microaggressions: everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicates hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership.

Research shows that individuals who are members of marginalized groups frequently experience plenty of microaggressions in their everyday lives. These experiences have been termed “microaggression showers” by Dr. Kevin Nadal, a microaggression expert. Microaggressions can be related to race, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, religion, or other features that reflect some aspect of personal identity. And while microaggressions most often present as verbal slights in spoken language, they may also take on nonverbal or environmental forms.

Reference: Psychology Today >>