wk5 – COMM :1008 Assignment: Microaggression Analysis

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Assignment: Microaggression Analysis

Microaggressions are a part of interpersonal communication, but all too often we fail to notice them, ignore them, or otherwise repress our responses, building unresolved tensions. “Micro” means small and “aggression” involves hostile actions or attitudes. Microaggressions are often present in defensive climates, and in order to help cultivate supportive climates we need to learn how to recognize, and address, these important elements of interpersonal communication. For example, let’s look at the statements “You are fit for a man of your age” and “You are beautiful for a woman of your age.” On one level, both are compliments. However, the words “of your age” qualifies, and effectively reduces or even contradicts, the compliment. The emphasis on age in this example introduces an element of prejudice or bias that can be interpreted as a microaggression. Many microaggressions are nonverbal and may be hard to spot at first. In order to help you learn how to identify, and respond to, microaggressions, watch this video:

Laureate Education (Producer). (2016). Is it a microaggression? [Interactive media]. Baltimore, MD: Author. Retrieved from https://mym.cdn.laureate-media.com/2dett4d/Walden/…

The first step to reverse a defensive climate is to identify the elements that make it defensive. Then it is important to consider how to model the behavior you want to observe in the supportive climate. Finally, learning to address microaggressions in the moment, recognizing someone might not even be aware of their prejudice or bias, is an important part of effective interpersonal communication. Conflict is often an element in our interactions, and it is how we handle it that sets us apart as competent communicators.

To prepare for this Assignment:

  • Read the Communication Program Professional Writing Guidelines.
  • Read “Chapter 6, Section 3: Emotions and Interpersonal Communication.”
  • Read “Chapter 7: Communication in Relationships.”
  • Review the 11 scenarios provided in the link to the Laureate media video on aggression.
  • Analyze your own experiences or those you have observed with microaggressions. Choose one to write about in your Assignment.

By Day 7

Write a 1- to 2-page paper that answers the following:

  1. Describe the communication climate between the two people at the time of the interaction. What are some factors that were present?
  2. Describe the specific interaction, including who were the participants, what was said or expressed, where it took place, when did it occur, and, in your estimation, why did it happen and how was it resolved?
  3. What changes to the communication could have improved the interaction, and why?
  4. What are some tips you would give to help avoid these types of scenarios in the future?

Please Note: Be sure to reference at least one scholarly or popular source to support your answer(s).

Week 5: Emotions & the Dark Side of Relationships

Emotions are a normal and natural part of all relationships, but at times they can become overwhelming and cause us to lose our way or spin out of control. Concern becomes suspicion and can transform into jealousy. Bullying, abuse, and dysfunction can become toxic elements in our lives. Control and manipulation can make it so we hardly recognize, or trust, ourselves. The dark side of interpersonal communication is a challenge, but important, area of study.

This week, we examine the dark side, and our emotions, and effective methods of communicating them to improve our relationships, and our lives.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this week, you will be able to:

  • Identify elements of the dark side of relationships
  • Evaluate the effects of elements of the dark side of communication on the self and the relationship
  • Analyze microaggressions in interpersonal interactions

Learning Resources

Required Readings

Ajayi, L. (2018). Microaggressions: Why we need to call out casual racism. Retrieved from https://ideas.ted.com/why-we-need-to-call-out-casu…

Dishman, L. (2017). How to shut down “microaggressions” at work. Retrieved from https://www.fastcompany.com/3068670/how-to-shut-do…

Lindberg, S. (n.d.). How to know if you’re in a toxic friendship (and how to get out of it). Retrieved June 12, 2019, from https://www.headspace.com/blog/2017/09/22/toxic-fr…

Nigatu, H. (2013). 21 racial microaggressions you hear on a daily basis. Retrieved from https://www.buzzfeed.com/hnigatu/racial-microagres…

University of Minnesota. (n.d.-g). Chapter 6, Section 3: Emotions and interpersonal communication. In Communication in the real world: An introduction to communication studies. Retrieved June 12, 2019, from https://open.lib.umn.edu/communication/chapter/6-3…

University of Minnesota. (n.d.-h). Chapter 7: Communication in relationships. In Communication in the real world: An introduction to communication studies. Retrieved June 12, 2019, from https://open.lib.umn.edu/communication/part/chapte…

Walden University. (n.d.).Walden university student assistance program. Retrieved from https://my.waldenu.edu/portal/c/19655.htm

Wing Sue, D. (2010). Microaggressions: More than just race. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/microaggre…

Yu, C. (n.d.). When do our family interactions become toxic? Retrieved June 12, 2019, from https://www.headspace.com/blog/2017/11/23/toxic-fa…

Required Media

[TEDx Talks]. (2016, May 2). How to start changing an unhealthy work environment [Video file]. Retrieved from
Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 9 minutes.

Epler, M. (2018, June). 3 ways to be a better ally in the workplace [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/melinda_epler_3_ways_to_…
Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 9 minutes.

Laureate Education (Producer). (2016). Is it a microaggression? [Interactive media]. Baltimore, MD: Author. Retrieved from https://mym.cdn.laureate-media.com/2dett4d/Walden/…

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