Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: June 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963978 | Print ISBN: 9781412909280 | Online ISBN: 9781412963978| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Madonna G. Constantine & Cristina Dorazio
Racial microaggressions are subtle and commonplace exchanges or indignities (both conscious and unconscious) that somehow convey demeaning messages to people of color. These racial slights can be verbal, behavioral, or even environmental. The exchanges often are viewed by perpetrators as harmless and inoffensive, but racial microaggressions can be a cause of psychological distress and drain spiritual energy for people of color who experience them. A taxonomy of racial microaggressions was proposed by Derald Wing Sue and his colleagues, and their taxonomy classified racial microaggressions into three forms: microassaults, microinsults, and microinvalidations. Microassaults are explicit and conscious derogatory racist epithets that are purposefully meant to hurt people of color. Microinsults and microinvalidations are the unconscious and unintentional demeaning slights made toward people of color. An example of a microinsult would be a White man telling a person of color who is interviewing for a job, “The person who is most The ...