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Microaggressions in Everyday Life
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Table of Contents

Preface xi Section One: Psychological Manifestation and Dynamics of Microaggressions Chapter One Microaggressions as Toxic Rain: Here, There, and Everywhere! 3 What Are Microaggressions? 7 Racial Microaggressions 9 The Invisibility and Nebulous Nature of Everyday Racism 12 Gender Microaggressions 16 Sexual?Orientation Microaggressions 19 Misunderstanding Microaggressions 20 Stop Making Mountains Out of Molehills! 20 Everything's a Microaggression in This Climate of Political Correctness 20 Your Analysis is Flawed 21 Microaggressions, Marginality, and Harmful Impact 23 The Way Forward: Making the "Invisible" Visible 26 Chapter Two Taxonomy of Microaggressions 31 Conscious and Deliberate Bigotry versus Unconscious and Unintentional Bias 33 The Changing Face of Racism, Sexism, and Heterosexism 34 Microaggressions 36 Environmental Macroaggressions 37 Forms of Microaggressions 41 Microassaults 41 Microinsults and Microinvalidations: Common Themes 48 Microinsults 49 Microinvalidations 52 The Way Forward: Defining, Recognizing, and Deconstructing Hidden Messages in Microaggressions 55 Chapter Three The Psychological Dilemmas and Dynamics of Microaggressions 59 Clash of Racial Realities : "You Are Just Being Hypersensitive and Misreading the Situation!" 62 Invisibility of Unintentional Biases: "I'm Not a Racist!" 67 Perceived Minimal Harm of Microaggressions : "Don't Make a Mountain Out of a Molehill!" 70 The Catch?22 of Responding to Microaggressions : "You're Damned if You Do and Damned if You Don't!" 73 The Way Forward: Dealing with Psychological Dilemmas 79 Section Two: Microaggressive Impact on Targets and Perpetrators Chapter Four The Microaggression Process Model: The Internal Struggle of Targets 85 Tracing the Impact of Microaggressions 88 Phase One-The Potential Microaggressive Incident or Event 88 Phase Two-Initial Assessment and Questioning of the Incident 96 Phase Three-Reaction Processes 97 Phase Four-Interpretation and Meaning 103 Phase Five-Consequences and Impact 106 The Microaggression Process Model: Recap 110 The Way Forward: Strength through Adversity 112 Chapter Five Microaggressive Stress: Impact on Physical and Psychological Well?Being 115 Biological Stressors: A Roadmap to Understanding Microaggressive Harm 117 Psychological and Social Stressors 119 Microaggressions and Daily Hassles 120 Impact of Everyday Hassles 121 The Life?Change Model of Stress 122 The Transactional Model of Stress 123 Situating Stress in the Macro?Context of Oppression 124 The Harmful Effects of Microaggressive Stress 127 Physical Health Effects of Microaggressive Stressors 127 Psychological Health Effects of Microaggressive Stressors 129 Strength through Adversity 140 The Way Forward: Responding Strategically and Resisting Microaggressions 140 Chapter Six Microaggressive Perpetrators: Who, What, When, How, and Why? 145 Who Are Microaggressive Perpetrators? 147 How and Why Do Individuals Perpetrate Microaggressions? 149 Using the Tools: Creating and Maintaining Dominance 149 Power to Impose a Biased Reality 151 What Makes It So Difficult for Perpetrators to Recognize Their Privilege? 153 Layer One-Fear of Appearing Biased 154 Layer Two-Fear of Recognizing One's Complicity in Oppression 155 Layer Three-Fear of Acknowledging One's Privilege 156 Layer Four-Fear of Taking Personal Responsibility to End Oppression 158 What Are the Costs of Microaggressions to Perpetrators? 160 Cognitive Costs of Oppression 161 Emotional Costs of Oppression 162 Behavioral Costs of Oppression 164 Spiritual and Moral Costs of Oppression 165 The Way Forward: The Ethical Mandate 166 Section Three: Interrogating Microaggressions: On Research, Teaching, and Counseling Chapter Seven Researching Microaggressions: Show Me the Evidence! 171 In Their Own Words: Qualitative Investigation of Microaggressions 173 Purposive Samples 178 Focus Groups 178 Individual Interviews 180 Other Data Sources 180 Trustworthiness 182 Do Findings Generalize? Quantitative Investigation of Microaggressions 182 Measuring Microaggressions 183 Quantitative Research Designs 189 Summary 191 The Way Forward: Future Research Directions 192 Chapter Eight Teaching about Microaggressions 199 Faculty Narratives: Facing Challenges in the Classroom 201 Challenges Faculty Members of Color Face 202 Challenges White Faculty Members Face 205 Encountering Microaggressions in the Classroom 207 Navigating Microaggressions: What Can Educators Do? 209 Microaggressions Pedagogy: How to Teach about Microaggressions 213 The Way Forward: General Strategies for Facilitating Difficult Dialogues on Race 216 Chapter Nine Microaggressions in Counseling and Psychotherapy 223 Underutilization of Mental Health Services 225 Premature Termination and Quality of Mental Health Care 226 Multicultural Counseling Competence 227 Manifestations of Racial Microaggressions in Counseling and Psychotherapy 228 Microaggressions Influence Counseling Process and Outcomes 237 Innovative Research Approaches 240 The Way Forward: Microaggressions Implications for Practice and Research 241 Section Four: Disarming Microaggressions and Macroaggressions Chapter Ten Microintervention Strategies for Disarming Microaggressions and Macroaggressions 249 Microaggressions and Macroaggressions 251 The Need to Take Action: Targets, Allies, and Bystanders 252 Targets 253 Allies 254 Bystanders 256 Responding to Microaggressions and Macroaggressions 257 Microinterventions 258 Strategic Goal: Make the "Invisible" Visible 261 Strategic Goal: Disarm the Microaggression 269 Strategic Goal: Educate the Perpetrator 271 Strategic Goal: Seek External Intervention or Support 273 Microinterventions and Macroaggressions 275 Context Matters 277 The Way Forward: Microinterventions and the New Research Frontier 278 References 281 Author Index 321 Subject Index 337

About the Author

Derald Wing Sue, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology and Education in the Department of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York. Lisa Beth Spanierman, Ph.D., is Professor and Head of the Faculty of Counseling and Counseling Psychology at Arizona State University in Tempe.

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