I believe that the best way to study any case is to analyze it with the help of different approaches, references, and from different points of view. Any question which needs to be studied always contains many specific details, and all of them make this question more complicated. That is why when doing research we should always be open-minded and clarify as many points as resources and time can allow us. Multicultural psychology is also a very multifaceted problem, so I think we should use both universal and indigenous approaches, or the etic and emic ones. The universal approach gives us the cultural regularity that is fair for all cultures and the indigenous approach gives us the picture of the indicator in different cultures.
With the emic approach, we must use the in-cultural resources to be as objective as we can. This is how we can provide the best results for our research. Originally, every culture has characteristics that are not inherent to most other cultures. Features that make this effect possible are the background of cultures: geographical, historical, linguistic, and cultural itself. But with time passing , most cultures have made an impact on one another and with this some features have found a new place. That is why I think that any multicultural research should take its start with the deep study of each cultural unit, then continue to more general levels, and finish with universal conclusions. Using both approaches gives us a wider range of information; using only one of them is like watching with only one eye – this would not give us the complete view.
However, some well-established texts translated and adapted are still more relevant to the dominant culture where they originated from. Based on this, we can make a statement that sometimes only one approach is needed.
A great example of cross-cultural psychology research is a behavioral problem of African Americans. It was discovered that European American teachers describe their African American students as “non-communicative” and “nonfluent”. But when the same students are in the company of similar people they show an absolutely different kind of behavior; they are more communicative and very resourceful.
I think that parents should provide racial and ethnic education for their children. First, for the first few years children spend most of their time with parents, other relatives, and neighbors. This means that the base of socialization is created with their help exclusively. Before children go to school, most of them already subconsciously have some idea of interracial communication. Second, when surrounded by friendly people, children are more susceptible to any information and education.
Unfortunately, not all children are growing in a socially healthy background, so they need to get specific knowledge in elementary schools. I believe that parents and schools should both help children become socially adequate persons.
On the other hand, there of course might be some negative outcomes of studying racial and ethnic socialization. For example, a mandatory nature of such education can affect the results if we look at it from the position of aggressive impact on children, which cannot be positive. Second, providing a special curriculum highlights a special status of different ethnic groups, which is opposed to the main idea of this socialization. Therefore, the way of learning must be soft and natural. Keeping in mind that school education plays a great role in children’s socialization throughout their life, the racial and ethnic questions must be brought up in elementary school too.
There are two types of discrimination: the overt form and the subtle form. While law controls the former, the latter is not so obvious, though it still can negatively affect a victim’s mental health. The subtle form of discrimination is called a microaggression. The article is dedicated to the problem of different types of microaggressions and includes a sufficient analysis of this phenomenon.
There are three forms of microaggressions: microassault, microinsult and microinvalidations. The first one is targeting a person with racial differences with derogatory verbal or nonverbal behaviors. The microinsult is presented by exchanges that communicate an insensitive disregard for a racial heritage or identity of person. The last one, microinvalidation, refers to interactions that negate or nullify person’s thoughts, feelings, and experiential reality.
Specifically, microaggressions have an impact on the mental health of students of color and academic performance in college. This form of discrimination is based on racial stereotypes and can be seen during the study time, rest-time, at racially themed parties, etc. Victims feel as if they are not safe, distressed, and sometimes invisible, with low self-esteem. Feeling so uncomfortable on campus and in college, students often do not have a chance to show their unique characteristics and identities. As a result, microaggressions can lead to individuals becoming mentally ill with disorders, such as depression or anxiety.
The current article describes the connection of racial microaggressions and victim’s self-esteem. The study provides a method to find this connection. It is said that 225 participants (161 female and 64 male) were recruited for this method. All of them were students at the time of research. The group included students of different races (white too), age, sexual self-identification, place of living, and degree.
Participants were examined with the help of the demographic questionnaire, racial and ethnic microaggressions scale (REMS), and Rosenberg self-esteem scale (SES). Results indicate that there was a significant negative correlation between REMS average and SES average scores. Results in different groups in REMS average scores showed a significant difference (between White and Black, White and Asian, White and Latino/a, and White and Multicultural). It was found, that White participants experience considerably fewer instances of microaggressions than Black, Asian, Latino/a and Multicultural participants. To explore whether specific types of microaggressions affected self-esteem, a stepwise method of regression was utilized, examining all six REMS subscales, such as predictor variables and self-esteem.
Making a critical review of this study, it has to be noticed that all questions, which were included in the questionnaire were selected very accurately. It is the only right position for making such a study; as the topic is very delicate, the method must be delicate in a similar fashion. Another positive characteristic of the research is that groups included different people. This gives a better authenticity for results, so we can make a conclusion more confidently. For a number of recruiters, I want to point out that with a bigger number of participants we were able to calculate results with improved accuracy.
There are such problems with results of the study. Firstly, many participants were from a northeastern urban environment, which means that results are not correct for all students across the US. Secondly, calculated results cannot be considered as accurate because of participants’ perception of microaggressions. Finally, there is a potential of manipulating results of REMS and SES. In my opinion, the fact that all participants were volunteers also negatively affects the authenticity of results. There is a possibility that a large part of volunteers decided to participate because they had a significant experience with microaggressions in their lives. For clearer results, the study has to make a more diverse group of students participate.
It was discovered with this study that there is a great negative influence of microaggressions on racial and ethnical groups. In my opinion, the article concludes a deep research of this problem and touches some aspects, which somehow are not seen by the majority. However, under that pressure minorities have no chance to feel confident and to show their equal nature. I believe that the specific study has to be developed in colleges to avoid future negative effects of microaggressions. If there will be no progress towards finding a solution to this problem, we might encounter more aggression and misunderstanding.