Taking the Measure of Microaggression: How to Put Boundaries on a Nebulous Concept

In Jeanine Weekes Schroer & Lauren Freeman (eds.), Microaggressions and Philosophy. New York: Taylor & Francis (2019)
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Abstract

How can we tell whether an incident counts as a microaggression? How do we draw the boundary between microaggressions and weightier forms of oppression, such as hate crimes? I address these questions by exploring the ontology and epistemology of microaggression, in particular the constitutive relationship between microaggression and systemic social oppression. I argue that we ought to define microaggression in terms of the ambiguous experience that its victims undergo, focusing attention on their perspectives while providing criteria for distinguishing microaggression.

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Regina Rini
York University

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