The micro only matters because of the macro: big data + visualization = micro
'A compilation of community submissions, in solidarity with #Baltimore, #Ferguson, and #BlackLivesMatter. The micro only matters because of the macro.' - The Microaggressions Project. Facebook page, April 29, 2015: https://www.facebook.com/microaggressions?fref=ts
BOUNDARY OBJECTS THAT LEARN: microaggression in transdisciplinary political lives:
'Harvard has discarded the traditional Ph.D. program in clinical psychology. As of a year ago , a new program was instituted entitled 'Clinical Psychology and Public Practice.' ... it is our hope that upon graduation our students will not be private practitioners, but public practitioners. …such public practitioners will function often as change agents…. Their chief concern will be with masses of individuals rather than the therapy of one individual by one individual. This concern grows from the conviction that traditional one-to-one models have failed to be of any essential service value to the great bulk of the nation's population.... There must be developed a group of health workers who could be called "Street Therapists." ...Compared to traditional therapy there would be much more confrontation and direction, instead of introspection and indirection. There would be more emphasis on actions instead of thoughts or feelings. Environmental manipulation would be commonplace; intrapsychic maneuvering less usual.' – Peirce, Offensive mechanisms: the vehicle for microaggression. (1970, 278) https://www.scribd.com/doc/170642574/Offensive-Mechanisms-Chester-Pierce [my emphasis]
Consider the object-essay 'Offensive Mechanisms,' the source of this quotation above, now nested on the platform Scribd. The Google Ngram Viewer locates this object as among the earliest sites for use of the term microaggression included in its millions of scanned books in English.
I note that the Harvard institutional and disciplinary experiment the essay advocates lasted for three years. Only three years? Or, as long as three years, in the midst of dramatically reshaping institutions and national politics? (Sendor 1973) This time period was one of agencies simultaneously both anti-psychiatric, and reclaiming psychiatry in the name of social change, and this object was authored by one of the 1968 founders of the Black Psychiatrists of America. Google the name Chester Pierce and you will find many indications of his legendary status, among them the Massachusetts General Hospital's current global psychiatry division named in his honor. At age 89, he was still in 2016, the year he died, listed as a practicing psychiatrist.
You can download online (see link above) this essay xeroxed from a 1970 collection with the anticipatory title The Black Seventies, published in the US on the decade's eve.
Although this source is included in some citations of the term microaggression, more recent material is usually referenced in detail today, gathered by another now legendary US psychologist Derald Sue.
Chinese American Sue currently leads a team of multi-racial, multi-cultural, multi-identity researchers gathering data on (now plural) microaggressions at Teacher's College Columbia University. (See for example: https://world-trust.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/7-Racial-Microagressions-in-Everyday-Life.pdf with pics of the team that produced this research.)
Racial politics in the US is deliberatively intersectional here. Sue carefully assembles an multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural team: Christina M. Capodilupo, Gina C. Torino, Jennifer M. Bucceri, Aisha M. B. Holder, Kevin L. Nadal, and Marta Esquilin.
They literally provide apparatus and measurement for a taxonomy of micro aggressions, developed by Sue and team and offered for clinical practice …and for social transformation. (Sue et al. 2007; Sue 2010; Sue 2003; Hawkin 2008)
(Chart from Sue et al. 2007: 278)
Something, some thing massively distributed yet also micro somehow in relation to persons, indeed crowd-sensible among personal storifyings, is emergent among and as microaggression and microaggressions. Literally we see, in data visualization, this perhaps hyperobject at the online Microaggressions Project. 'The micro only matters because of the macro' explains the Project's facebook page.
But a mattering entanglement not simply micro or macro reframes anything personal, person-all. And the connections with movements of re-action, #Baltimore, #Ferguson, and #BlackLivesMatter, matters too along with other massive distributions: of military hardware escalating aggression in police forces, of debt peonage of whole towns, and county, regional, and national citizenry to pay to arm police, against themselves. People gathering in their person at sites of danger to confront these activating realities, as well as to enact the distributive social media and art activisms supporting them and making their actions widely available.
All this at scales both intentional and not, sometimes tactical and often spontaneous, escalations fraught with danger and release, and all thoroughly neurologically entangled as mattering motivations: caring, attention, attachment, aggression.
These move within and through and among bodies and infrastructural embodiments. (See King. 2016. "Microaggressions as Boundary Objects." Australian Feminist Studies 31/89: 276-282.)