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Sociology Colloquium, 11/3/2021

“Did you see that too?” Unpacking the Role of Reasoning about & Exposure to Microaggressions

Dr. Allegra J. Midgette, Texas A&M University

Prior scholarship has found that U.S. college students of racial and ethnic minoritized backgrounds experience frequent subtle behaviors that communicate negative messages towards their group or themselves as individuals (Nadal et al., 2015; Solorzano et al., 2000; Sue, 2010; Sue et al., 2007), also termed microaggressions (Pierce et al., 1978; Sue, 2010; Sue et al., 2007). Although microaggressions in higher education often occur in the presence of student bystanders, prior research suggests that individuals from dominant groups may not perceive such events as discriminatory (Lithinfeld, 2007; Sue et al., 2008a; Tynes & Markoe, 2010). Moreover, the majority of the research on microaggressions has focused on the experiences of targets (Lilienfeld, 2017) rather than perpetrators of microaggressive behaviors (Kanter et al., 2017). In today’s talk I will be presenting our recent research that has aimed to unpack both the role of exposure to microaggressions (e.g., observer versus target) in informing students’ understanding of racism and sexism, as well as the role of reasoning about microaggressions as an important method for capturing students’ evaluations and recognition of racial microaggressions (Midgette & Mulvey, 2021; Midgette & Mulvey, Under Review). Implications of these studies for both research methods and educational interventions will be discussed.

About Dr. Midgette:

Allegra J. Midgette, Ph.D. is a Visiting Assistant Professor and ACES Fellow in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Texas A&M University. She recently completed a two-year NICHD T32 postdoctoral fellowship at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She received her Ph.D. in Human Development in Education from the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Midgette graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in Education, with honors, magna cum laude, and Phi Beta Kappa. Dr. Midgette’s research investigates the origins and social processes that support individuals in developing an understanding of justice and learning how to care for others in an inequitable and unjust world. Her work addresses two key questions: 1) How do we come to care about each other and about justice within the family? and 2) How do we become just in the face of inequality? To investigate these questions, Dr. Midgette employs a mixed methodology that places the experiential reality of children, adolescents, emerging adults and their families at the forefront. The long-term goal of her work is to characterize how cultural, societal, and family practices influence individual moral development, with the ultimate aim of supporting the creation of interventions that contribute to individuals’ development into more caring and just individuals.

November 3, 2021
Wednesday, 12–1:30pm
Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 913 1948 1544
Passcode: 715352

If you cannot join with video, you can connect to the Zoom session via phone: 1–346–248–7799