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(p. 135) Issues and Controversies 

(p. 135) Issues and Controversies
Chapter:
(p. 135) Issues and Controversies
Author(s):

Monnica T. Williams

DOI:
10.1093/med-psych/9780190875237.003.0008
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date: 08 July 2020

Abstract: Are microaggressions really just people being too sensitive? Not everyone agrees that microaggressions are a problem, and some view the increased social dialogue surrounding the harms of microaggressions as a sign of a threatening shift in cultural values. Are microaggressions truly aggressive? Microaggressions are believed to be often unintentional and harms are often small, so they may not automatically be considered a form of violence or aggression. However, there are many disciplines that consider all forms of racism to be violence and aggression. Should we just give offenders the benefit of the doubt? Some critics of microaggressions research have urged victims to simply choose not to be offended, but it is also important to consider the dangers of ignoring microaggressions. In this chapter, issues and controversies in the literature regarding microaggressions are reviewed. Reducing microaggressions on campuses and in the workplace is discussed including the Racial Harmony Workshop, a diversity workshop designed to be both educational and experiential, using the experiences and diversity of the participants to promote sharing and social connection. Future directions in the area of microaggressions include more funding opportunities for research to operationalize how to best help people who are experiencing distress resulting from microaggressions. Research is still needed to determine if and how certain responses can protect against the negative sequelae of experiencing a microaggression.

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