Mosquito Bites

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  • Title: Mosquito Bites: Unmasking Microaggressions and Marginalization Experienced by Chinese International Graduate Students in the United States
  • Author(s): Yifan Liao, Kay Ann Taylor
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Common Ground Open
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Learner Diversity and Identities
  • Keywords: Microaggressions, Intersectionality, Chinese International Graduate Students, Higher Education
  • Volume: 30
  • Issue: 2
  • Date: May 26, 2023
  • ISSN: 2327-0128 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2327-2627 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2327-0128/CGP/v30i02/1-23
  • Citation: Liao, Yifan, and Kay Ann Taylor. 2023. "Mosquito Bites: Unmasking Microaggressions and Marginalization Experienced by Chinese International Graduate Students in the United States." The International Journal of Learner Diversity and Identities 30 (2): 1-23. doi:10.18848/2327-0128/CGP/v30i02/1-23.
  • Extent: 23 pages

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Abstract

Microaggressions are sometimes compared to “mosquito bites,” considering their subtle nature. It seems like an overreaction if someone fights against those “mosquitos.” However, these “bites” are often extremely stressful and demoralizing and result in severe depression. Through the lenses of intersectionality, this study explored the microaggression experiences and negotiation strategies of Chinese international graduate students (CIGS) in a predominantly White institution in the US. Findings revealed that prominent microaggressions, which had a major role in CIGS’ high anxiety level and low confidence, were related to language and social interaction barriers. However, most CIGS tended to internalize the suppressions as a mechanism for survival and resistance. The findings of the study expose inequities, prejudices, and marginalization for minority international students and offer suggestions for stakeholders to create a supportive and inclusive campus environment consciously.