In this section, the student will:
- Define common “isms” and phobias (ageism, sexism, racism, classism, able-ism, homophobia, xenophobia)
- Explain how “isms” result in micro-aggressions
- Identify the barriers created by the use of “isms”
- Explain the use of “isms” as a way to oppress and control others in the healthcare system
ism noun \ˈi-zəm\
The suffix ‘ism’ is neutral and therefore bears no connotations associated with any of the many ideologies it has been appended to; such determinations can only be informed by public opinion regarding specific ideologies like ageism, cubism etc. According to Merriam–Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage it is a belief, attitude, style, etc., that is referred to by a word that ends in the suffix -ism : the act, practice, or process of doing something.
- “we all have got to come to grips with our isms” — Joycelyn Elders
microaggression [mahy-kroh-uh-gresh-uh n] 
Any small-scale verbal or physical interaction between those of different races, cultures, or genders that has no malicious intent, but that can be interpreted as an aggression.
- A Brief and Non-Comprehensive List of Oppressions; from Interrupting Oppression
- Identifying the “Isms”: Enab.g Social Work Students to Confront Their Biases; from Journal Of Social Work Education, 26(1), 36-44. Latting, J. K. (1990).
- Prejudice in Medicine; from National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine