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Monday, October 24, 2011

Subtle and Stunning Slights

By Sara Martin
Monitor Staff
October 2011, Vol. 42, No. 9
As an Asian-American, Derald Wing Sue, PhD, says he often gets compliments for speaking good English. Such "praise," he says, is a typical example of a "microagression," the brief and pervasive verbal, behavioral or environmental slights that—intentionally or not—communicate hostility.

"The hidden message is that I am a perpetual alien in my own country," said Sue, who researches microaggressions as a psychology professor at Columbia University's Teachers College.

At an APA 2011 Annual Convention session, Sue and other psychologists discussed their work in the area and their frustration that many people don't recognize microaggressions' detrimental psychological consequences.

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