Alternative Title

Immigrant-origin high school students' experiences of disrespect and racial microaggressions by teachers

Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Study Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School for Social Work


Discrimination in education, Teenage immigrants, Teacher-student relationships, High school teachers-Attitudes, Racism in education, Disrespect, Discrimination, Racism, Subtle racism, Microaggressions, Immigrant, Immigrant-origin, First-generation, Second-generation, Generation status, Adolescent, Youth, Students, High schook, Secondary education, Help-seeking, Critical race theory, Counter-storytelling


This qualitative study used counter-storytelling methodology from Critical Race Theory to explore 15 racial and ethnic minority immigrant-origin high school students’ experiences of racial microaggressions by teachers. Previous research focuses on overt racism with youth or microaggressions with adults, but has not addressed subtle racism experienced by high school students. The findings suggest immigrant-origin experience teacher disrespect as racial microaggressions, including those that are related to immigrant identity. Though not conclusive, the results indicate that experiences of racial microaggressions and responses may differ for immigrant-origin youth with different generation status. Teachers’ racial sensitivity and school climate were demonstrated to be important factors for further exploration. This study’s focus on immigrant youth experiences in school is timely given the influence that the current U.S. political climate around immigration has on classroom dynamics, and thus has immediate implications for teachers, administrators, and social workers.




vi, 151 pages : illustrations. Includes bibliographical references (pages 103-119)

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