Vicarious Language: Gender and Linguistic Modernity in Japan / Edition 1

Vicarious Language: Gender and Linguistic Modernity in Japan / Edition 1

by Miyako Inoue
     
 

ISBN-10: 0520245849

ISBN-13: 9780520245846

Pub. Date: 04/05/2006

Publisher: University of California Press

This highly original study provides an entirely new critical perspective on the central importance of ideas about language in the reproduction of gender, class, and race divisions in modern Japan. Focusing on a phenomenon commonly called "women's language," in modern Japanese society, Miyako
Inoue considers the history and social effects of this language form.

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Overview

This highly original study provides an entirely new critical perspective on the central importance of ideas about language in the reproduction of gender, class, and race divisions in modern Japan. Focusing on a phenomenon commonly called "women's language," in modern Japanese society, Miyako
Inoue considers the history and social effects of this language form. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in a contemporary Tokyo corporation to study the everyday linguistic experience of white-collar females office workers and on historical research from the late nineteenth century to 1930, she calls into question the claim that "women's language" is a Japanese cultural tradition of ancient origin and offers a critical geneaology showing the extent to which this language form is, in fact, a cultural construct linked with Japan's national and capitalist modernity. Her theoretically sophisticated, empirically grounded, interdisciplinary work brilliantly illuminates the relationship between culture and language, the nature of power and subject formation in modernity, and how the complex nexus of gender, language, and political economy are experienced in everyday life.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520245846
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
04/05/2006
Series:
Asia: Local Studies / Global Themes Series
Pages:
340
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.88(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction : women's language and capitalist modernity in Japan1
1An echo of national modernity : overhearing "schoolgirl speech"37
2Linguistic modernity and the emergence of women's language75
3From schoolgirl speech to women's language : consuming indexicality in women's magazines, 1890-1930108
4Capitalist modernity, the responsibilized speaking body, and the public mourning of the death of women's language163
5"Just stay in the middle" : the story of a woman manager217
6Defamiliarizing Japanese women's language : strategies and tactics of female office workers252
Afterword : this vicarious "Japanese women's language"278

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