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ERIC Number: EJ1135813
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1534-8458
Gender Identity in a Second Language: The Use of First Person Pronouns by Male Learners of Japanese
Brown, Lucien; Cheek, Elizabeth
Journal of Language, Identity, and Education, v16 n2 p94-108 2017
This is a qualitative sociocultural study examining how five advanced-level learners of Japanese from the United States use gendered first person pronouns to negotiate their identities. Japanese does not have a ubiquitous pronoun such as English "I." Instead, the language contains forms that are marked for formality and gender, including "watashi" (formal/feminine), "ore" (informal/masculine) and "boku" (neutral/boyish). We collected recordings of the learners speaking with four different native-speaker interlocutors (female friend, male friend, female stranger, male stranger) and conducted retrospective interviews. The analysis shows that these learners were actively involved in choosing pronouns that indexed their identities as men, although these masculine identities were not always ratified by their Japanese interlocutors. One reason for this was that the male identities expressed by the learners were at times closer to American than to Japanese masculinities. Learners also used pronouns as a resource to index their identities as proficient speakers of Japanese.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A