Gentle masculinity in East Asia
‘Herbivore Men’ and interlocutor constructed language
This study considers the Japanese phenomenon of sooshokukei-danshi (SKD) ‘Herbivore Men’ within larger discourses of ‘East-Asian gentle masculinity.’ Focusing on lexical variation across both scripted and naturalistic data, the current study argues that while use of salient variables by SKD identified speakers in media closely conform to stereotypically gendered usage patterns, use of these variables in naturalistic data is more complex, suggesting speakers’ engagement in the performance of a range of gendered stances. Furthermore, data indicate that rather than use of particular lexical items, e.g. a given pragmatic particle, the performance of gendered types emerges through patterns in the use of a range of items and that use of a single item does not by itself signal gendered performance. Concurrently, interlocutors ignore speakers’ use of otherwise salient variables when they do not conform to interlocutors’ pre-existing images of these speakers, focusing instead on use of those variables that confirm their metalinguistic images of the speaker.
Keywords: sooshokukei-danshi, Japanese masculinity, pragmatic particles, mediatization, gender performance, character types, stance construction
- SKD Language in the film Sooshokukeidanshi
- SKD Language in smap (Sports Music Assemble People)
Published online: 10 August 2018
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