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ERIC Number: ED515534
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 255
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1096-6904-6
Gender and Linguistic Ideology: A Re-Examination of Directive Usage by Japanese Male Superiors in the Workplace
Saito, Junko
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Hawai'i at Manoa
This study examines Japanese male superiors' linguistic practices in an institutional setting in Japan, in particular focusing on directive usage. It quantitatively and qualitatively elucidates how seven male superiors in a workplace, which is located in the Tokyo area, employ diverse linguistic resources in directive discourse so as to persuade their subordinates to perform as directed. Achieving institutional objectives at work is an essential component of keeping a business going. Workplace superiors need to skillfully manipulate their linguistic repertoires so that subordinates comply with their directives. For this reason, the directive speech act exercised in a workplace is a dynamic and intricate interactional process, involving power and politeness, and requiring consideration of contextual dimensions. In addition, numerous social meanings are conveyed in these interactions. Despite advances in research on linguistic practices of Japanese-speaking individuals in leadership positions at work, very few studies focus on male superiors' language use in naturally occurring interactions. The present study hence fills a gap in the current research on Japanese workplace discourse, and it contributes to the development of Japanese language and gender scholarship. The study demonstrates the dynamic and complex aspects of male superiors' directive use, and accordingly challenges linguistic ideologies about Japanese men. Both quantitative and qualitative analyses show that (1) the gender of the speaker is not the only component that determines directive practices; rather, myriad contextual parameters in addition to the speaker's gender powerfully influence the speaker's choice of directive forms in a given context; and hence, (2) actual practices do not necessarily or exclusively conform to gender stereotypes. This study thus clearly shows that normative men's language and women's language are ideological constructs. It suggests that men's language practices cannot be studied only in comparison with women's language use, but need to be scrutinized with co-occurring contextual dimensions within a particular community of practice, so as to be more accurately understood. Furthermore, this study illustrates how male superiors utilize directives in relation to linguistic politeness, and how they negotiate directives with their subordinates through the manipulation of linguistic resources. The study also touches upon identity construction in a given context. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Japan; Japan (Tokyo)