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Michigan State University

MSU Library Staff Development: Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion


'Microaggressions are derogatory slights or insults directed at a target group or persons who are members of an oppressed group.' Microaggressions communicate bias and can be delivered implicitly or explicitly. Three types of microaggressions have been identified in the literature and supported by empirical work: microassualt, microinsult, and microinvalidation.

Microassault refers to the blatant verbal, nonverbal, or environmental attack intended to convey discriminatory and biased sentiments. 

Microinsults are the unintentional behaviors or verbal comments that convey rudeness or insensitivity or demean a person's racial heritage/identity, gender identity, religion, ability, or sexual orientation identity. 

Microinvalidations are verbal comments or behaviors that exclude, negate, or dismiss the psychological thoughts, feelings, or experiential reality of the targeted group.

Torina, G. C., Rivera, D. P., & Capodilupo, C. M., Nadal, K. L., & Sue, D. W. (2019). Everything you wanted to know about microaggressions but didn't get a chance to ask. In G. C. Torino (Editor), Microaggression theory: Influence and implications. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.


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