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学会誌11号-第11回年次大会 研究発表要旨(Martin)

Co-operative Men: Phatic Communication and Media Masculinity in Japanese Men’s Conversations

Kristyn Martin

Summary:  During the bubble of high economic growth in the 80’s and 90’s, marriage-seeking Japanese women were said to look for the ‘three H’s’ in men: high income, high education, and high physical stature. These days, in the midst of recession, there is talk of a ‘three C’s’ instead—comfortable, communicative, and cooperative. The ‘modern’ man can bring home only a ‘comfortable’ income, but he must be communicative and cooperative rather than a competitively-driven businessman. The image of ‘ideal masculinity’, as reflected in these terms, is under pressure to change not just from marriage-seeking women but from all corners of society as Japan’s business and economic structures face drastic reconfiguration. This paper examines the ‘traditional’ images of masculinity in postwar and contemporary Japan and attempts to locate communicative, cooperative speech strategies by Japanese men, as demonstrated in a recent televised variety program, within new emerging media images of a ‘softer’, less competitive masculinity.
 
Data Analysis
Table 1: Subjects and Respective Ages by Conversation

Conversation Subjects Age of Each Subject
1 N + T 31, 29
2 T + G 29, 30
3 G + K 30, 31
4 K + S 31, 26
5 S + N 26, 31


Figure 1: Total Uses of Interactional Particles and Back-channels by Conversation

Figure 2: Total Latches and Type 2 Interruptions by Conversation
Conversation 1:

Table 2: Conversation 1 Totals for Turns, Interactional Particles, Back-channels and Co-occurrences

Subject Turns (approx.) Ne,sa(Total) Back-channels Co-occurrences
N 64 25, 12 (37) 46 13
T 49 33, 15 (48) 50 10

Table 3: Conversation 1 Totals for Latches and Type 2 Interruptions

Subject Latches Type 2 Interruptions
N 17 2
T 19 2

Conversation 2: 

Table 4: Conversation 2 Totals for Turns, Interactional Particles, Back-channels and Co-occurrences

Subject Turns (approx.) Ne,sa(Total Back-channels Co-occurrences
T 61 36, 20 (56) 36 9
G 65 36, 9 (45) 47 21

Table 5: Conversation 2 Totals for Latches and Type 2 Interruptions

Subject Latches Type 2 Interruptions
T 31 0
G 28 3

Conversation 3:

Table 6: Conversation 3 Totals for Turns, Interactional Particles, Back-channels and Co-occurrences

Subject Turns (approx.) Ne,sa(Total) Back-channels Co-occurrences
G 59 25, 6 (31) 56 12
K 60 22, 22 (44) 17 2

 

 

 

 

Table 7: Conversation 3 Totals for Latches and Type 2 Interruptions

Subject Latches Type 2 Interruptions
G 23 1
K 20 2
Conclusion
Overall, this study shows a high frequency of phatic communication in the 3 of the 5 conversations analyzed. Although there are still aspects of communication present, such as interruptions, that emphasize independence and competitiveness, the overall image created by these conversations is of connected, cooperative dialogue. Though we must keep in mind that this particular example is an example of communication between men, and not between men and women as might be considered more applicable to the issues being raised in Japan’s changing society, I believe that this image of men sitting down and talking openly and cooperatively on television is nonetheless part of a gradual break from traditional ideas of masculinity taking place in media representations in Japan. Whether men themselves choose to subscribe to these changing ideas, however, remains to be seen.
Acknowledgment
I would like to thank the Center for Japanese Studies at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa for providing the travel grant that made it possible for me to attend this conference.
 
(Kristyn Martin, East Asian Languages and Linguistics M.A.Candidate University of Hawaii at Manoa)
 
 
 
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