Race and Microaggression in Nursing Knowledge Development

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Abstract

Race is a social environmental element in many nursing knowledge contexts. We explore how race and racism have been conceptualized in nursing research and theory, situating these issues in the debate between Critical Race Theory and postracialism. Contemporarily, racism is more subtle than overt. Subtle racism takes the form of microaggressions in everyday discourse and practices by whites toward African Americans. This occurs with little to no awareness on the part of whites. Using this concept, practice and education are explored. We hold that microaggressions contribute to stress for the target person, which may partly account for racial health disparities.

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