M(ai)cro: Centering the Macrosystem in Human Development

Leoandra Onnie Rogers*, Erika Y. Niwa, Kara Chung, Tiffany Yip, David Chae

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Both society and psychological science are deeply grounded in (and often perpetuate) white supremacy and anti-Blackness. While human development is inextricable from macro-level structural racism and hierarchies of oppression, developmental research often locates processes in the micro-level of individuals and relationships, ultimately obscuring how intimately macro-level forces shape developmental processes. The current paper aims to shift the starting point of the story of human development by centering the macrosystem, and specifically racism (and its partnering ideologies of sexism, heteronormativity, classism, and capitalism) in ecological systems theory and developmental psychology broadly. Through the lens of racial socialization research, we present an empirical example to illustrate how the sociopolitical context of racism is itself a source of socialization. Finally, we propose new language, m(ai)cro, to conceptualize the simultaneous and transactional macro-as-micro processes in development. We conclude with guiding principles for how to work toward equity and justice in human development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)270-292
Number of pages23
JournalHuman Development
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021


  • Anti-Blackness
  • Anti-racism socialization
  • Black Lives Matter
  • Ecological systems theories
  • Intersectionality
  • Racial socialization
  • Racism · Resistance
  • White supremacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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