“: A Phenomenological Investigation of Racial, Gendered, and Sexual Microaggressions Among Highly Educated IndividualsWhat Is It Going to Be Like?: A Phenomenological Investigation of Racial, Gendered, and Sexual Microaggressions Among Highly Educated Individuals”: A Phenomenological Investigation of Racial, Gendered, and Sexual Microaggressions Among Highly Educated Individuals

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Abstract

Seven ethnically and racially diverse researchers conducted phenomenological research using a semistructured interview investigating the presence and nature of microaggressions in the lives of 59 highly educated racial, gender, and sexual minority research participants, ranging in age from mid20s to mid60s. The minimum educational requirement for the study participation was a completed master’s degree. Participants could be enrolled in a doctoral program and pursuing any discipline or could have previously obtained a doctoral degree. The relevance of resistance theory as a framework for understanding participants’ experiences with and responses to microaggressions was investigated. Using thematic analysis within a social constructionist framework, 8 central themes were identified: (a) Suboptimal System; (b) Microaggressions Tax; (c) Acrid Environments; (d) Misconstruing Race, Gender, and Sexuality; (e) Assumption of Universal Experience; (f) Valuing Relationships; (g) Armored Resistance; and (h) Optimal Resistance. Limitations and implications for future research are discussed.

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