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Microaggressions in Everyday Life: Race, Gender, and Sexual Orientation Hardcover – March 8, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0470491409 ISBN-10: 047049140X Edition: 1st

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Microaggressions in Everyday Life: Race, Gender, and Sexual Orientation + Microaggressions and Marginality: Manifestation, Dynamics, and Impact + Privilege, Power, and Difference
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (March 8, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 047049140X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470491409
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #92,306 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Sue's book, and the accompanying research, writing, and training on microaggressions, is the most important recent development in studying racism, sexism, and heterosexism. Given the comprehensiveness and importance of
Microaggressions in Everyday Life, it is hard to consider any significant weaknesses of this book. We hope that this book will be a good resource for individuals in organizational leadership, coaching, and the mental health field when engaging this discussion." (Journal of Psychological Issues in Organizational Culture, October 27, 2010)

"In his book, Dr. Sue presents the first ever analysis of the unintended slights that take their toll on the people of color, women, gay/lesbian, transgendered and other groups. Microaggressions is wrtten with an unusual combination of scholarly care, and accessibility for a lay audience a feature that owes much to Sue's own connection to his topic." (Unity First, Fall 2010)

"Microaggressions in Everyday Life is robust with science and practice. The writing is engaging and thought provoking. It is a major contribution to the multicultural field and to the larger society. The one feature that I found most helpful about the organization of the book is that each chapter ends with a section titled The Way Forward. Here, Sue provides compelling insights and interventions to help the reader with ideas regarding what can be done about the issues raised in the chapter. The Way Forward sections in Chapter 11 and 12 are replete with specific examples for educators and mental health practitioners. I found these two sections to be especially strong; if educators and practitioners begin implementing these suggestions, we will make significant strides toward shining a light on, giving a voice to, and perhaps ameliorating microaggressions." (PsycCRITIQUES, 22 September 2010)

"Derald Wing Sue, an expert on discrimination, enlightens on matters like this, in Microaggressions in Everyday Life: Race, Gender and Sexual Orientation. He is no lightweight. Sue has served on the President's Advisory Board on Race, and was president of the Society for the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues. He co-founded the Asian American Psychological Association, and is a former president of the Society of Counseling Psychology of the American Psychological Association. Sue has developed the first categorization of conscious and intentional actions, slurs and racial epithets, even as unintended slights or social cues, when dominant groups attempt to subordinate minority groups, make them uncomfortable, marginalize and inflict a mental, emotional and even physical toll. Sue claims studies indicate racial micro-aggressions have a devastating impact." (Ponte Al Dia, March 9, 2010)


Winner of the Global Diversity and Inclusion Book Prize 2010 from UnityFirst.com

"In Microaggressions and Everyday Life, Dr. Sue masterfully pulls all of his life and work experiences together to frame a new theory and vision for the study of racism, sexism, and homophobia. What Dr. Sue has created will ignite research in the field of racism and multiple oppressions that will ultimately lead to marked change in the way we all deal with and respect one another. This book is that good. It will change the way you think, it will move you to act and not just witness and observe, and it will even influence how you feel toward, communicate with, and care for your own loved ones, students, and clients."
From the Foreword by Joseph G.  Ponterotto, Ph.D., Professor, Fordham University

"This is a groundbreaking contribution and contains invaluable and powerful insights. In a very constructive way, Dr. Sue provides time-tested psychological suggestions to make our society free of microaggressions. It is a brilliant resource and ideal teaching tool for all those who wish to alter the forces that promote pain for people."
Melba J T Vasquez, Ph.D., ABPP, President, American Psychological Association

"Microaggressions in Everyday Life offers an insightful, scholarly, and thought-provoking analysis of the existence of subtle, often unintentional biases, and their profound impact on members of traditionally disadvantaged groups. The material is solidly grounded in theory, but the implications for psychological practice and everyday life are vivid. The concept of microaggressions is one of the most important developments in the study of intergroup relations over the past decade, and this volume is the definitive source on the topic."
John F. Dovidio, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Yale University

"Derald Wing Sue has written a must-read book for anyone who deals with diversity at any level. It is truly rare to find a book so scholarly, lucid and practical about the subtle ways in which good intentions are eroded by innocence and ignorance. Microaggressions in Everyday Life will bring great rewards in understanding and awareness along with practical guides to put them to good use."
James M. Jones, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology and Director of Black American Studies University of Delaware

"This is a major contribution to the multicultural discourse and to understanding the myriad ways that discrimination can be represented and its insidious effects. Accessible and well documented, it is a pleasure to read and makes a welcome addition to those readings considered essential to culturally competent practice."
Beverly Greene, Ph.D., ABPP, Diplomate in Clinical Psychology and Professor of Psychology St. John's University Jamaica, New York

More About the Author


Derald Wing Sue is Professor of Psychology and Education in the Department of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Teachers College and the School of Social Work, Columbia University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Oregon, and has served as a training faculty member with the Institute for Management Studies and the Columbia University Executive Training Programs. He was the Co-Founder and first President of the Asian American Psychological Association, past presidents of the Society for the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues (Division 45) and the Society of Counseling Psychology (Division 17). Dr. Sue is a member of the American Counseling Association, and a Fellows of the American Psychological Association. Dr. Sue has served as Editor of the Personnel and Guidance Journal (now the Journal for Counseling and Development), is Associate Editor of the American Psychologist, Editorial Member to Asian Journal of Counselling, and has been or continues to be a consulting editor for numerous journals and publications.

Derald Wing Sue can truly be described as a pioneer in the field of multicultural psychology, multicultural education, multicultural counseling and therapy, and the psychology of racism/antiracism. He has done extensive multicultural research and writing in psychology and education long before the academic community perceived it favorably, and his theories and concepts have paved the way for a generation of younger scholars interested in issues of minority mental health and multicultural psychology. He is author of over 150 publications, 15 books, and numerous media productions. In all of these endeavors, his commitment to multiculturalism has been obvious and his contributions have forced the field to seriously question the monocultural knowledge base of its theories and practices. As evidence of his professional impact, Dr. Sue's book, COUNSELING THE CULTURALLY DIVERSE: THEORY AND PRACTICE, 2008, 5th Edition (with David Sue - John Wiley & Sons Publishers), has been identified as the most frequently cited publication in the multicultural field; since its first edition, it has been considered a classic and used by nearly 50% of the graduate counseling psychology market.

Because of a personal life-changing experience with racism directed toward his family, Dr. Sue's research direction has progressively turned to the psychology of racism and antiracism. When he was invited to address President Clinton's Race Advisory Board on the National Dialogue on Race and to participate in a Congressional Briefing on the "Psychology of Racism and the Myth of the Color-Blind Society", Dr. Sue realized that the invisibility of "whiteness" and ethnocentric monoculturalism were harmful not only to People of Color, but Whites as well. These experiences and activities have resulted in his critically acclaimed book OVERCOMING OUR RACISM: THE JOURNEY TO LIBERATION, 2003 (Jossey Bass Publishers). Written primarily for the general public, it directly confronted White Americans with their White privilege, inherent biases and their unintentional oppression of Persons of Color. As expected, the book aroused intense feelings and generated difficult dialogues on race.

These reactions led Dr. Sue and his research team at Teachers College to undertake a 10-year study on the causes, manifestations and impact of racial microaggressions. Their groundbreaking work resulted in a taxonomy of racial microaggressions that empowers People of Color by making "the invisible, visible," by validating their experiential realities, and by providing them with a language to describe their experiences. Dr. Sue is currently broadening research on microaggressions to include religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation and other marginalized groups. Contrary to the belief of most White Americans that microaggressions create minimal harm, his studies suggest that these daily assaults and insults are responsible for creating inequities in education, employment and health care and for producing emotional distress in People of Color. His most recent book, MICROAGGRESSIONS IN EVERYDAY LIFE: RACE, GENDER AND SEXUAL ORIENTATION (John Wiley and Sons Publishers) has already generated much excitement and research. It was awarded the 2010 National Diversity and Global Inclusion Book Prize Award by UnityFirst.Com. His forthcoming book MICROAGGRESSIONS AND MARGINALITY (John Wiley & Sons) extends the concept of microaggressions to many socially devalued groups in our society (race, gender, sexual orientation, class, disability, religion, etc.).

Dr. Sue's services have been widely sought by many groups and organizations. He has also done extensive cultural diversity training for many Fortune 400 companies, institutions of higher education, business, industry, government, public schools, and mental health organizations. In that capacity, Dr. Sue has worked with mental health practitioners, university faculty, teachers, students, community leaders, senior executives, and middle-level managers. His work is recognized not only on a national level, but on an international one as well. Dr. Sue has presented and traveled in Asia (China, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, Macau, the Philippines, and Singapore), New Zealand and Europe. He is frequently sought as a spokesperson on issues of racism, multiculturalism, and diversity by the press and other media outlets. Dr. Sue has been interviewed on many radio programs, television specials, and is frequently quoted in the press.

As recognition of his outstanding contributions, Dr. Sue has been the recipient of numerous awards from professional organizations, educational institutions, and community groups. He has been honored by the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development with the Professional Development Award and the Research Award; by the Asian American Psychological Association with the Leadership Award, Distinguished Contributions Award and President's Award; by the Third World Counselors Association with the Leadership and Distinguished Contributions to Cross Cultural Theory Award; by The Society for the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues with the Mentoring and Leadership Award; by Center for the Study of Teaching and Learning Diversity with the Diversity in Teaching and Learning Lifetime Achievement Award; by the California Psychological Association with the Distinguished Scientific Achievement to Psychology Award; by the American Counseling Association with the Professional Development Award; by the Society of Counseling Psychology, Sage Publications and The Counseling Psychologist for the Outstanding Publication of 2001; by California State University, Hayward, Alliant University and Teachers College, Columbia University for Outstanding Faculty or Teaching Awards; by the American Psychological Association with the Career Contributions to Education and Training Award and a Presidential Citation for Outstanding Service; by the National Multicultural Conference and Summit with the Dalmas A. Taylor Award; by the University of Oregon with the Outstanding Alumnus Award, by the American Psychological Foundations with the Rosalee G. Weiss Outstanding Psychologist Award, by the Society for the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues with Lifetime Achievement Award and by the Los Angeles County Psychological Association for the Distinguished Service to the Profession of Psychology Award. As evidence of Dr. Sue's stature in the field, a national study of multicultural publications and scholars concluded that "Impressively, Derald Wing Sue is without doubt the most influential multicultural scholar in the United States".

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By elizabethanne.kim on September 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Everybody feels they know about racism, and most people reading a book on racism are looking for someone who will repeat what they already think and what they want to hear. Derald Wing Sue just doesn't do that. He takes a rather abrasive approach of "telling it like it is," which is often confrontational and sometimes accusatory, but which is, by and large, right.

Sue has written on the topic of microaggressions before, and where this book differs from the others is that (1) it is more academic and less practical (I do miss the practical "where do we go from here" type sections that I have seen in some of his other works); (2) for the first time, it deals with multiple reactions to microaggressions instead of the "this can be harmful" type of platitudes from his previous works; (3) it acknowledges the diversity of experience and culture WITHIN racial groups (something which has been largely ignored in other of Sue's works that I have read); and (4) it still provides plenty of examples of how seemingly common interactions can be received very differently by different groups, but in this work, Sue goes much farther in explaining WHY that is.

Some of the shortcomings of other works are still there. For example, Sue does very little talking about the unseen prejudices that become unearthed as one is revealed as a "minority"--perhaps because he generally discusses race which is kind of apparent. Another shortcoming is the claim that microaggressions are unintentional but then using words which belie that unintentionality--such as talking about minority "targets." If the aggression were unintentional, then the minority couldn't be a "target." "Targeting" implies intent.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. A. Chenoweth on October 5, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
This book shows how covert racism, sexism, and hetero-sexism are being overtly manifested in subtle but effective ways continuously in our society today. Through media, how we treat each other, and basic world views of American's, this book explains why, as a woman, you are depressed and have no explanation for it. It comes from a Social Justice standpoint and many people in therapy do not know that standpoint exists. The book, however, does not mention larger macro -issues such as future breeding trends or overpopulation as an explanation for stress overall in the environment. But it goes through even Native Americans and all Latino's, Europeans, etc. I wish it had more ways to forgive each other, more suggestions for revolution or change, etc.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Logan Ricketts on December 5, 2012
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This book has changed my life. Before I was unaware of how pervasive racism, sexism, and all the other isms are to the well-being of individuals who are marginalized and oppressed on a daily basis. I have gained so much knowledge from this text and would recommend it to all who wish to improve the condition of the society that we live in.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By maja paalsson on February 11, 2013
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This book is very well written and offers an excellent way to build and strengthen awareness around the everyday dynamics of racism, sexism, and heterosexism. This language also transfers to microaggressions towards other marginalized groups in this society.
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In his paper "Some neurotic mechanisms in jealousy, paranoia, and homosexuality", Freud says:

"We are reminded that sufferers from persecutory paranoia ... cannot regard anything in other people as indifferent, and they, too, take up minute indications with which these other, unknown, people present them, and use them in their delusions of reference."

Everything else can safely be left as an exercise for the reader. But it is quite frightening to reflect that this guy's work is taken seriously.
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By Jonathan Fast on April 17, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This is a valuable book to heighten our understanding of this country's unconscious heterosexualism and racism. It is of particular importance in post millennial America, where whiteness is no longer a default setting. Sue's writing is clear, precise, well thought-out and thoroughly referenced. It is an outstanding textbook for courses in diversity, but also a work that can be enjoyed by a curious, thoughtful reader who is open to discovering his own biases regarding race and gender.

I am, incidentally, neither a student, nor a colleague nor even an acquaintance of Dr. Sue.
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The book helped me to rethink my ideas on race but more importantly it helped me to realize the struggles related to gender and sexual orientation.
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