Award Information

Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
East Asian Languages and Cultures
The Performance of Alternative Youth Speech Styles in Contemporary Urban Japan

The first in-depth analysis of contemporary youth Japanese speech, this project uses data gathered via sociolinguistic interviews, free conversations with students at Tokyo-based universities along with detailed ethnography to analyze the everyday social and linguistic lives of urban youth who currently face uncertain economic futures and are forced to grapple social changes that make it harder for them to participate in once taken for granted social practices, e.g. marriage and getting a permanent job. Teasing apart gender and sexuality issues, this project considers gendered identity formation in friendship groups across time, demonstrating the impact of life stage on socialized gendered identities and thus forming an important contribution to gendered language theory. Furthermore, the one-of-akind corpus of contemporary youth Japanese speech produced will be an invaluable resource for researchers across social sciences and humanities.