The Ethics of Microaggression

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Slips of the tongue, unwitting favoritism, and stereotyped assumptions are just some examples of microaggression. Nearly all of us commit microaggressions at some point, even if we don’t intend to. Yet over time a pattern of microaggression can cause considerable harm by reminding members of marginalized groups of their precarious position.

The Ethics of Microaggression is a much needed and clearly written exploration of this pervasive yet complex problem. What is microaggression and how do we know when it is occurring? Can we be held responsible for microaggressions and if so, how? How has social media affected the problem? What role can philosophy play in understanding microaggression? Regina Rini explores these highly topical and controversial questions in an engaging and fair-minded way, arguing that an event is a microaggression precisely because it causes a marginalized person to experience an ambiguous encounter with oppression. She illustrates her argument with compelling examples from media, politics, and psychology and explains the significance of essential concepts, such as media representation, reparative renaming, and safe spaces.

The Ethics of Microaggression explains what microaggression is and offers strategies for combating it. Assuming no prior knowledge of the topic or philosophy, it demystifies a controversial and extremely important topic in clear language. It is ideal for anyone coming to the topic for the first time and for students in philosophy, gender studies, race theory, disability theory, and social and political philosophy.

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