Microaggressions are "brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, and environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial, gender, sexual orientation, and religious slights and insults to the target person or group” (Sue, 2010). Often described as "death by a thousand cuts," the emotional, behavioral, and cognitive impact of microaggressions is cumulative and over time results in harmful psychological and physiological effects for targeted individuals.
Microaggressions take three forms: microassaults, microinsults, and microinvalidations (James-Turner & Galloway, 2020).
Microassaults are overt and conscious-explicit or subtle slights and insults expressed to marginalized groups. Microassaults can be:
Microinsults are often covert and unconscious, meant to tear down a person’s identity through insensitive comments and the use of stereotypes. Examples include:
Microinvalidations are often covert or unconscious and used to cancel the thoughts, feelings, and lived experiences of marginalized individuals. Examples include:
From Responding to Microaggressions in the Classroom: Taking ACTION by Tasha Souza
Ganote, Cheung, and Souza, 2015; learn more in How to be an Ally by Kerry Ann Rockquemore
From How to Respond to Racial Microaggressions When They Occur by J. Luke Wood & Frank Harris III
"A Guide to Responding to Microaggressions." Women in Engineering. Grainger College of Engineering, University of Illinois.
"Addressing microaggressions in the classroom. Teaching in Spring 2020: Macro/Microaggressions and COVID-19" Center for Teaching and Learning, University of Washington.
Berk, Ronald A. "Microaggressions trilogy: Part 1. Why do microaggressions matter?." The Journal of Faculty Development 31, no. 1 (2017): 63.
Berk, Ronald A. "Microaggressions trilogy: Part 2. Microaggressions in the academic workplace." The Journal of Faculty Development 31, no. 2 (2017): 69.
Berk, Ronald A. "Microaggressions Trilogy: Part 3. Microaggressions in the Classroom." The Journal of Faculty Development 31, no. 3 (2017): 95-110.
Souza, Tasha. "Responding to Microaggressions in the Classroom: Taking ACTION." Faculty Focus, 30 April, 2018.
Sue, Derald Wing. Microaggressions in Everyday Life: Race, Gender, and Sexual Orientation. John Wiley & Sons, 2010.
Sue, Derald Wing, Christina M. Capodilupo, Gina C. Torino, Jennifer M. Bucceri, Aisha Holder, Kevin L. Nadal, and Marta Esquilin. "Racial microaggressions in everyday life: implications for clinical practice." American psychologist 62, no. 4 (2007): 271.
Sue, Derald Wing, Sarah Alsaidi, Michael. N. Awad, Elizabeth Glaeser, Cassandra Z. Calle, and Narolyn Mendez. “Disarming Racial Microaggressions: Microintervention Strategies for Targets, White Allies, and Bystanders.” American Psychologist 74 no. 1 (2019): 128-142.
Wood, J. Luke, and Frank Harris. "How to Respond to Racial Microaggressions When They Occur." Diverse Issues in Higher Education. 5 May, 2020.