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Article

Sue Holttum

This paper aims to examine three recent papers on discrimination and exclusion that happen on a day-to-day basis in social interactions, known as micro-aggressions.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine three recent papers on discrimination and exclusion that happen on a day-to-day basis in social interactions, known as micro-aggressions.

Design/methodology/approach

The author searched for recent papers on discrimination in the databases Psyc INFO and ASSIA. Three papers were selected addressing a common theme published within the past 24 months.

Findings

All three papers concern a US context. The first reports experiences of women with physical disabilities in relation to micro-aggressions. Based on focus groups with 30 women, micro-aggressions appear to be common and some cause considerable distress. The second paper reports experiences of 65 mental health peer support workers in a range of mental health services and finds micro-aggressions common for them too. The third paper goes beyond occurrence and type of micro-aggressions. Based on existing research, it proposes how members of marginalised racial groups can tackle micro-aggressions, whether they are the target, an ally or a bystander.

Originality/value

These papers show clear examples of micro-aggressions, making them easier to see. While the first two papers are each the first to document micro-aggressions for specific marginalised groups, the third paper is the first to bring together practical ways to tackle micro-aggressions in day-to-day life. There is potential for this to help bring about increased social inclusion and equity for a range of marginalised groups, and for a resultant benefit in the mental and physical well-being of many people.

Details

Mental Health and Social Inclusion, vol. 24 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-8308

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Article

Pierre W. Orelus

The purpose of this paper is to highlight various ways in which micro-aggressions and other forms of institutional oppression have affected subaltern professors and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to highlight various ways in which micro-aggressions and other forms of institutional oppression have affected subaltern professors and students in the academy.

Design/methodology/approach

This qualitative case study draws from testimonios collected from fall 2010 to spring 2016. Six testimonios are incorporated in the study, and they stem from a various set of data. These testimonios show patterns across data set regarding systemic oppression subaltern that professors have experienced in the academy.

Findings

As the findings of this study show, subaltern professors face intersecting forms of discrimination – often race, language, accent, gender, and class based – in predominantly white institutions. Their testimonios unravel the complexity of the professional, academic, and personal lives of these professors highlighting their professional achievements and successes. Their testimonios demonstrate at the same time the ways in which various forms of oppression might have limited their life chances and opportunities.

Research limitations/implications

Suggestions are made as to how social justice educators and policy makers can collectively challenge and eradicate these social wrongs.

Originality/value

This paper is an original take on both micro-aggressions and institutional oppression affecting subaltern professors and students.

Details

Qualitative Research Journal, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1443-9883

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Book part

Nicholas Banks

Research suggests that African-Caribbeans are less likely than their white British counterparts to ask for mental health support (Cooper et al., 2013). This is despite…

Abstract

Research suggests that African-Caribbeans are less likely than their white British counterparts to ask for mental health support (Cooper et al., 2013). This is despite research identifying that minority groups as a whole, when compared to the white majority, report higher levels of psychological distress and a marked lack of social support (Erens, Primatesta, & Prior, 2001). Those who do request support are less likely to receive antidepressants (British Fourth National Survey of Ethnic Minorities, 1994; Cooper et al., 2010) even when controlling for mental health symptom severity, with African-Caribbeans less likely to make use of medication for depression even when prescribed (Bhui, Christie, & Bhugra, 1995; Cooper et al., 2013). Studies reporting on reasons for black people being less likely to attend for mental health consultation with their GP suggest a variety of explanations why this may be, focussing both on the suspicion of what services may offer (Karlsen, Mazroo, McKenzie, Bhui, & Weich, 2005) and the concern of black clients that they may experience a racialised service with stigma (Marwaha & Livingstone, 2002). Different understandings and models of mental illness may also exist (Marwaha & Livingstone, 2002). Different perspectives and models of mental health may deter black people from making use of antidepressants even when prescribed. Despite a random control trial showing that African-Caribbean people significantly benefit from targeted therapy services (Afuwape et al., 2010), the government, despite a report by the Department of Health in 2003 admitting there was no national strategy or policy specifically targeting mental health of black people or their care and treatment has not yet built on evidence-based success. One important aspect recognised by the Department of Health (2003), was that of the need to develop a mental health workforce capable of providing efficacious mental health services to a multicultural population. Although there were good strategic objectives little appeared to exist in how to meet this important objective, particularly in the context of research showing that such service provision could show real benefit. The Department of Health Guidelines (2003) focussed on the need to change what it termed as ‘conventional practice’, but was not specific in what this might be, or even how this could improve services to ethnic minorities. There was discussion of cultural competencies without defining what these were or referencing publications where these would be identified. There was a rather vague suggestion that recent work had begun to occur, but no indication that this had been evaluated and shown to have value (Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2001). Neither British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy nor British Psychological Society makes mention of the need for cultural competencies in organisational service delivery to ethnic minority clients. This chapter will describe, explore and debate the need for individual and organisational cultural competencies in delivering counselling and psychotherapy services to African-Caribbean people to improve service delivery and efficacious outcomes.

Details

The International Handbook of Black Community Mental Health
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-965-6

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Abstract

Details

The International Handbook of Black Community Mental Health
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-965-6

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Article

A qualitative study of six employee resource groups (ERGs) in a not-for-profit organization in the USA tested whether they helped minorities to integrate. The positive…

Abstract

Purpose

A qualitative study of six employee resource groups (ERGs) in a not-for-profit organization in the USA tested whether they helped minorities to integrate. The positive results showed they act as powerful conduits for learning and development, and help staff well-being.

Design/methodology/approach

The researcher carried out 39 semi-structured interviews with people from each of the six groups, including executive sponsors. There were 11 participants from the African-American RG, 2 from the Native American RG, 4 from the Asian-American RG, 5 from the Hispanic-American RG, 7 from the LGBT RG, and 3 from the South Asian-American RG. Seven executive sponsors were also interviewed. All participants were asked to describe the organization’s culture and explain how much support they received on diversity issues.

Findings

Members explained how ERGs offered communities for the exchange of ideas. They helped individuals deal with “micro-aggressions” when the dominant social groups indulged in prejudicial stereotyping. Useful activities were both informal and formal. Informal conversations were helpful, especially for younger members. More formal activities depended on member interests. For example, the African-American and Asian-American RGs hosted a lot of leadership development initiatives. There were events aimed at educating the whole workforce about minority issues.

Originality/value

The results are important for businesses, and other organizations, because research shows they perform better when they integrate diverse employees.

Details

Human Resource Management International Digest, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0967-0734

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Book part

Neysa L. Figueroa and Seneca Vaught

In attempts to defuse racial tensions on campus, higher education administrators have often commissioned special units and campus-wide initiatives. Historically, these…

Abstract

In attempts to defuse racial tensions on campus, higher education administrators have often commissioned special units and campus-wide initiatives. Historically, these commissions often address racial challenges in higher education that impact both faculty and students. If designed and deployed carefully, these commissions can be very useful mechanisms to address sensitive racial, religious, and linguistic concerns on campus. Despite the prevalence of studies that discuss racial experiences on campus, far less scholarship has focused on the effectiveness of these commissions and the dialogic strategies that faculty of color have employed in their service.

This study draws on three major findings. First, the chapter explores why the presidential commission structure is a powerful mechanism for improving dialogue about racial and ethnic issues on campus. Former commissioners discuss its potential for addressing the complex and interlocking concerns of faculty, staff, and students of color. Second, although the commission’s structure is promising, we present numerous problems that require further attention. We discuss how the emphasis on dialogue and less dedication to targeted actions and policies may actually undermine the goals of commissions like these and further frustrate aggrieved faculty, staff, and students. Third, the chapter highlights successful and unsuccessful strategies for sustaining fruitful dialogue that lead to an increased understanding and acceptance of diverse viewpoints and perspectives. These findings have specific relevance for international faculty and faculty of color interested in ways to be more proactive in shaping existing programs, policies, and approaches to meet the diverse needs of university life.

Details

Diversity and Triumphs of Navigating the Terrain of Academe
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-608-3

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Article

Roiyah Saltus and Christalla Pithara

Research evidence indicates the need for studies that explore the salience of dignity from the perspective of older people from a range of ethno-linguistic and cultural…

Abstract

Purpose

Research evidence indicates the need for studies that explore the salience of dignity from the perspective of older people from a range of ethno-linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Drawing findings from a mixed-methods study on social-care expectations of community-dwelling older women from black and minority-ethnic backgrounds, the purpose of this paper is to explore the interrelationships between life-course events (such as migration) and the roles adopted by the women throughout their lives, which shaped their understanding of dignity.

Design/methodology/approach

Face-to-face, semi-structured interviews with 32 older women in Wales were conducted in the participants’ first languages. The interview schedule was developed, piloted and peer-reviewed; it covered the themes of migration, perceptions of dignity, dignity in later life, perceptions of care and care with dignity. Transcripts were analysed using thematic analysis. This paper focuses on what dignity meant to older women and how a sense of dignity was fostered in later life.

Findings

For the participants, a sense of dignity in later life was shaped by migration to the UK, and their shifting, transnational understanding of growing old in the UK and of the perceived worth and value of the roles they played. Although some women also saw other platforms (such as work and their status as professionals) as being of importance, a sense of purpose fostered in their roles as wives, mothers and grandmothers, and as mentors and guardians of cultural knowledge, underpinned their understanding of dignity, and reinforced their sense of acknowledgement and worth. Fostered from an early age through interactions with the family and close community (religious, cultural or ethnic), respect for older people was revealed to remain a key element of the participants’ personal and cultural value systems, as were the ways in which respect should be both earned and manifested. The sense of heightened vulnerability, because of advancing age, and the impact of cumulative negative encounters and racialised micro-aggressions, were real and pressing.

Practical implications

Given the changing demographic of the older population throughout Europe and the world, there is a need to raise awareness among policy makers and practitioners of the importance of dignity from a range of perspectives – providing first-hand accounts that bring these to life, and data that can be used to help develop effective interventions.

Originality/value

This paper adds to the understanding of dignity from a transnational, multi-ethnic perspective; the potential impact of multiple social positions (being old, being a woman, being a migrant and being from a minority-ethnic group) on the perception of being treated and regarded as important and valuable; and the need to raise awareness among policy makers and practitioners of the importance of dignity from a range of perspectives, providing first-hand accounts that bring these to life and that can be used to help develop effective social-care interventions.

Details

Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-7794

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Article

Valerie Gray Hardcastle, Stacie Furst-Holloway, Rachel Kallen and Farrah Jacquez

A lot is known about systemic barriers to broadening participation (BP) in STEM. Empirical research has demonstrated the existence and impact of implicit bias, stereotype…

Abstract

Purpose

A lot is known about systemic barriers to broadening participation (BP) in STEM. Empirical research has demonstrated the existence and impact of implicit bias, stereotype threat, and micro-aggressions on a sense of belonging, organizational productivity and leadership opportunities. We also know that achieving greater participation of women and faculty of color in the STEM disciplines is complicated and depends on altering complex and multi-layered interactions between activities and actors. Further, because researcher and institutional goals vary as a function of target population and context, generalizable models can struggle in the face of larger BP efforts. Through the authors experience as an NSF ADVANCE-IT awardee, the authors believe that a dynamic, multi-scaled and organizational level approach is required to reflect the reciprocal dialogue among research questions, best practices, tailored applications and quantifiable goals. The authors describe several examples of research, programming activities and program evaluation that illustrate this approach. In particular, the authors describe both the programming successes and challenges, with the aim of helping others to avoid common mistakes by articulating very broad and, the authors’ hope, generalizable “lessons learned.” The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

To better understand the barriers for women in STEM, the authors utilized an iterative methodology. Specifically, the authors conducted a social network analysis, an exit survey of departed faculty, longitudinal analysis of career trajectories and research productivity, and a survey on the interaction between values and climate.

Findings

The analyses suggest three strategies better retain women in STEM: improve women’s professional networks; re-aling policy documents and departmental practices to better reflect faculty values; and improve departmental climate.

Practical implications

The pay-off for using this more complex research approach to triangulate onto specific challenges is that the interventions are more likely to be successful, with a longer-lasting impact.

Originality/value

With continuous institutional research, metric refinement, and program evaluation the authors are better able to develop targeted programming, policy reform, and changes in institutional practice. The interventions should result in permanent institutional and systemic change by integrating multi-method qualitative and quantitative research into BP practices, which the authors couple with longitudinal analysis that can quantify success of the authors’ efforts.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 38 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

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Book part

Yoruba Taheerah Mutakabbir

This chapter discusses religious diversity and the religious minority student on the HBCU campus. The author discusses existing literature and research on religious…

Abstract

This chapter discusses religious diversity and the religious minority student on the HBCU campus. The author discusses existing literature and research on religious minority college students and the challenges and experiences of religious minorities on campus. The primary purpose of this chapter is to improve HBCU practitioners’ abilities to promote religious pluralism and tolerance of all faiths. Student affairs practitioners must first have a fundamental understanding of who is a religious minority.

Details

Underserved Populations at Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-841-1

Keywords

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