Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Cantu and Jussim on Microaggressions, Questionable Science, and Free Speech @UMKCLaw @PsychRabble @RutgersU

Edward Cantu, University of Missouri, Kansas City, and Lee Jussim, Rutgers University, are publishing Microaggressions, Questionable Science, and Free Speech in the Texas Review of Law & Politics. Here is the abstract.

The topic of microaggressions is hot currently. Diversity administrators regularly propagate lists of alleged microaggressions and express confidence that listed items reflect what some psychologists claim they do: racism that is, at the very least, unconscious in the mind of the speaker. Legal academics are increasingly leveraging microaggression research in theorizing law and proposing legal change. But how scientifically legitimate are claims by some psychologists about what acts constitute microaggressions? The authors—one a law professor, the other a psychologist—argue that the answer is “not much.” In this article, the authors dissect the studies, and critique the claims, of microaggression researchers. They then explore the ideological glue that seems to hold the current microaggression construct together, and that best explains its propagative success. They close by warning of the socially caustic and legally pernicious effects the current microaggression construct can cause if academics, administrators, and the broader culture continue to subscribe to it without healthy skepticism.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

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