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Gendered Characteristics of Female Learners’ Conversational Japanese

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Author(s): Maki Yoshida

Journal: New Voices : A Journal for Emerging Scholars of Japanese Studies in Australia and New Zealand
ISSN 1833-5233

Volume: 5;
Start page: 103;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: Gender | Identity | Ideology | JFL | Contact Situation

ABSTRACT
This study examines gendered characteristics in four female Japanese language learners’ discourse practices in a communicative setting, where they interact with native Japanese speaking friends in a JFL context. Focusing on the relationship between gender ideologies and discourse practices, I explore the extent to which learners are aware of gender ideologies in the Japanese community and how these ideologies are influential in their discourse practices in the particular setting. In addition, how native speakers of Japanese evaluate gender-differentiated features produced by the learners during the interaction is investigated.Qualitatively-approached, this study revealed that each learner possesses a unique character in their utterances and perceptions, reflecting their individual awareness of gender ideologies and their negotiation of language use against the backdrop of social expectations. At the same time, a lack of such awareness emerged as an issue which kept them from fully and actively engaging in exploring their subjectivities. In addition, this study pointed out that native Japanese speakers utilised gender ideologies as the basis for their judgements on learners’ gendered features in their interaction.
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