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The use of English as a local language resource for identity construction in Japanese television variety shows

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Item Summary

Title: The use of English as a local language resource for identity construction in Japanese television variety shows
Authors: Furukawa, Gavin Ken
Keywords: Sociocultural Linguistics
Issue Date: Aug 2014
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [August 2014]
Abstract: This dissertation examines the context of Japanese variety shows to analyze the ways that English is used for identity construction and how this relates to the idea of English as a local resource but still connected to the wider world. It also analyzes the ways that English is used as an entertainment resource for both variety programs and for the people who appear on these shows. Japanese variety shows are a site where tarento, entertainers that are marketed through their personality without belonging to single categories such as singer, actor, or dancer, are often ridiculed and humiliated for the purposes of entertainment. During this process, the tarento will often construct themselves and others through tactics of intersubjectivity that isolate individuals from the larger group using different dimensions of relation. This dissertation takes a Sociocultural Linguistics approach to the data allowing for the combination of multiple methods and traditions to gain a more holistic understanding of the connections between the English Language, Japanese media culture, and society. Drawing upon Bakhtin's (1981) chronotopes, and Bateson's (1972) notion of interpretive frames, I analyze the discourse of Japanese variety shows as a series of embedded frames of different places in space and time that are constructed through indirect indexical reference working together to create a single text. Utilizing data from focus groups and interviews as well as broadcast data this dissertation investigates the content of the text, audience reception and production aspects of Japanese television. I analyze the uses of English to construct images of intelligence and social cool as well as stupidity and unstylishness through indexical fields. The analysis reveals how socially positive and negative images are used as marketable resources and how intermediary level discourse in the form of screen text or telop can iii present itself as having institutional authority through use of typography. My findings reveal that English is used in a continuing cycle connecting the indexical fields of English to the program and the viewership. The findings also show that the educational context of learning English is never totally separated from its use in this medium.
Description: Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2014.
Includes bibliographical references.
Rights: All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D. - Second Language Studies

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