Friday, March 9, 2012

Fielding student Pamela P. Hopkins presents research poster at Fielding's Winter Session 2012

Women's Experiences of Micro Aggressions: Meaning Making and Coping Strategies -- Pamela P. Hopkins, Student, School of Human & Organizational Development

The existing literature on micro aggressions indicates that very little research has been conducted on specific experiences of women. Similar to racial prejudice and discrimination, blatant gender prejudice and discrimination have subsided. Nonetheless, the subtle, small, daily events that occur so frequently have become embedded in the fabric of women’s lives. Women are subjected regularly to micro aggressive acts across not only gender but also others such as class, age, sexual orientation, ethnicity, race, and so on. The emotional toll of these micro aggressions can be significant and women often minimize and deny their existence. These indignities can be intentional or unintentional and often perpetrators are unaware that their actions insult and otherwise harm women.

This study explored how women of different ages, races, and sexual orientations, describe their experiences with micro aggressions and how they make sense of them in their lives. Once all the data were thoroughly analyzed, I concluded that the experiences expressed by the study participants serve to extend the current literature on micro aggression in three significant ways: 1. Everyday experiences occur across the intersections of identity; 2. Coping strategies are common and accessed regularly; 3. Existential meanings are derived and have a long-term effect from these experiences.

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