Sunday, January 15, 2017
On Microaggression Theory
On Microagression Theory: Perhaps this psychological theory amounts to nothing more than self-victimization, or perhaps it reveals some deeper truths about the basic super-culture that drives modern, Western capitalism. Originating in the 1970s, which was a decade that saw the Post-WWII block of American hegemony start to fracture (think Vietnam), it's a theory that ultimately gave rise to major sociopolitical concepts of the 1980s like "political correctness" and "identity politics." Nevertheless, microagressions can assume a wide variety of forms, as they encapsulate everything from casual comments about race, class, age, ability, or sex/gender to unconscious actions indicating a fear of "otherness." Examples of microagressions, which are similar to stereotypes, may include something like "what's up with your accent?" or "why are Asians so good at math?" These statements can be collectively considered indications of a dominant culture acting against perceived threats to its power. Yet like any theory involving power relations, if taken too far, pointing out microagressions can begin to limit free speech.