Resistance against being formulated as cultural other: The case of a Chinese student in Japan

Chie Fukuda


So-called traditional theories in second langauge acquisition (SLA) have been criticized for their neglect to examine interactional, social, and political aspects in language practices. The present study will illustrate exoticization, one of the political phenomena observed in interactions between native-speaker and non-native speaker (NS/NNS). Exoticization is known as a covert power exercise where ‘self’ creates inferior ‘other’ in order to establish and maintain its superiority (Said 1978), which involves identity construction and categorization. Adopting a conversation analysis (CA) approach and utilizing NS-NNS conversations in Japanese, this study will first demonstrate how exoticization is discursively constructed through the development of interactions. Then the study will explore how the NNS participant tries to resist such practices. By so doing, this study will shed light on interactional and ideological aspects of language practices and society as a learning environment. The study will also suggest the necessity for exploring what NNSs face in real L2 societies in order to develop emic perspectives in SLA studies.

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