Reflections on Microaggressions – Blog by David Marshall

Microaggression: ‘a statement, action, or incident regarded as an instance of indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination or prejudice

Understanding Microaggression

Recently I took a taxi to visit a university who wanted to talk to me about a diversity and inclusion e-learning course. They let me know their particularly focus would be on “microaggressions” – looking at your watch when someone is talking, interrupting them, or maybe asking someone where they are from (highlighting the difference between them and you). Maybe unwittingly you can let someone feel they don’t belong somewhere quite as much as yourself when you were asking from genuine curiosity.

Prior to my trip, a friend asked me what I was working on and I talked about microaggressions.  His mouth fell open and he remarked “what are we meant to do – all become mannequins?” It was an understandable reaction as, on the face of it, microaggressions seem a world away from what we recognise as traditional aggression – something I learnt more about during my journey.

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