Cross-Cultural Representations of Hegemonic Masculinity in Shall we Dance

Justine Charlebois (1)
(1) Department of Language and Communication, Aichi Shukutoku University, Japan, Japan


One way of studying group involvement is through the paradigm of communities of practice (CofP) (Lave 1988, Lave & Wenger 1991). Students on university campuses are simultaneously members of various CofPs. This article investigates the CofPs Japanese students were involved in while studying in the United States. It found that the whole notion of CofP involvement is framed (Bateson 1972; Tannen & Wallet 1993) differently by Japanese. Specifically, the Japanese frame for attendance obligations and appropriate behavior is tighter (Goffman 1963) than that of their American counterparts. The results of this study suggest that what constitutes good demeanor is different in both societies and highlights the cultural relativity of frames regarding community of practice involvement. (community of practice, frame, obligations, expectations, deference, demeanor, tightness, looseness, girininjo,omote, soto, uchi, ura).

Full text article

Generated from XML file


Bateson, Gregory (1972). Steps to an ecology of mind. New York: Ballantine.

Baxter, Judith (2003), Positioning gender in discourse: A feminist methodology. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. DOI:

Brown, Penelope & Levinson, Stephen (1987). Politeness: Some universals in language usage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Frederic, Louis (2002). Japan encyclopedia. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press.

Furo, Hiroko (2002). Frames in American and Japanese political discourse. In Ray Donahue (Ed.), Exploring Japaneseness: On enactments of culture and conscious (pp. 317-339). Westport, CT: Ablex.

Goffman, Erving (1963). Behavior in public places: Notes on the social organization of gatherings. New York: Free Press.

_____(1967). The nature of deference and demeanor. In Interaction ritual, (pp. 47-95). New York: Anchor Books.

_____(1981). Footing. In Forms of talk (pp.124-159). Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Gumperz, John (1978). The conversational analysis of interethnic communication. In E. Lamar Ross (Ed.), Southern anthropological society proceedings, No. 12 (pp.13-31). Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press.

_____(1982). Discourse strategies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Haring, Douglas (1967). Japanese character in the twentieth century. In Annuals of the American Academy of political and social science, Vol. 370 (pp. 133-142). London: Sage Publications DOI:

Iino, Masakazu (1996). "Excellent foreigner!": Gaijinization of Japanese language and culture in contact situations—an ethnographic study of dinner table conversations between Japanese host families and American students.

(Doctoral dissertation, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 1996).

Dissertations Abstracts International, 57, 1451.

Japan Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, & Technology. (2005). Outline ofthe student exchange system. Retrieved April 25, 2005, from

Kakava, Christina (2002). Opposition in modern Greek discourse: Cultural and constraints. Journal of Pragmatics, 34, 1537-1568. DOI:

Komisarof, Adam (2004). The impact of perceived acculturation attitude alignments upon US-Japanese relations. Journal of Intercultural Education, 7(4), 83-102.

Kondo, Dorinne (1990). Crafting selves: Power, gender, and discourse of identity in a Japanese workplace. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. DOI:

Lakoff, Robin (2000). The language war. Berkeley: University of California Press. DOI:

Lave, Jean (1988). Cognition in practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. DOI:

Lave, Jean & Wenger, Etienne (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. DOI:

Lebra, Takie Sugiyama (1976). Japanese patterns of behavior. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. DOI:

Maynard, Senko (1997). Japanese communication. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.

Nakane, C. (1970). Japanese society. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Norton Peirce, Bonny (1995). Social identity, investment, and language learning. TESOL Quarterly 29 (1), 9-31. DOI:

Sacks, Harvey, Schegloff, Emanuel & Jefferson, Gail (1974). A simplest systematics for the organization of turn-taking for conversation Language, 50, 696-735. DOI:

Sakamoto, Nancy & Naotsuka, Reiko (2004). Polite fictions in collision: Why Japanese and Americans seem rude to each other. Tokyo: Kinseido.

Schegloff, Emanuel, Jefferson, G., & Sacks, H. (1977). The preference for self-correction in the organization of repair in conversation. Language, 53, 361-382. DOI:

Schiffrin, Deborah (1984). Jewish argument as sociability. Language in Society, 13, 311-335. DOI:

_____(1987). Discourse markers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

_____(1994). Approaches to discourse. Cambridge: Blackwell.

_____(2002). Mother and friends in a Holocaust life story. Language in Society, 31, 309-353. DOI:

Scollon, Ron and Scollon, Suzanne (1981). Narrative, literacy, and face in interethnic communication. Norwood, NJ: Ablex.

_____(1996). Intercultural communication: A discourse approach. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

Scollon, Ron (1998). Mediated discourse as social interaction. London & NY: Longman.

Tannen, Deborah (1983). Ethnic style in male-female conversation. In John Gumperz (Ed.), Language and social identity (pp. 217-231). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. DOI:

_____(1984). Conversational style: Analyzing talk among friends. Westport, CT: Ablex.

_____(1989). ‘Oh talking voice that is so sweet’: Constructing dialogue. In Talking voices (pp. 98-133). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

_____(1998). The argument culture. New York: Ballantine.

_____(1993). What’s in a frame? Surface evidence for underlying expectations. In Deborah Tannen (Ed.), Framing in discourse, (pp.14-56). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

_____& Wallat, Cynthia (1993). Interactive frames and knowledge schemas in interaction: Examples from a medical examination/interview. In Deborah Tannen (Ed), Framing in discourse (pp. 57-76). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Watanabe, Suwako (1993). Cultural differences in framing: American and Japanese group discussions. In Deborah Tannen (Ed.), Framing in discourse (pp. 176-209). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Yamada, Haru (1997). Different games different rules: Why Americans and Japanese misunderstand each other. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Justine Charlebois (Primary Contact)
Author Biography

Justine Charlebois, Department of Language and Communication, Aichi Shukutoku University, Japan

Justin Charlebois is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Language and Communication at Aichi Shukutoku University, Japan. He teaches a variety of courses such as gender, sociolinguistics, and discourse analysis. He received an M.A. in Applied Linguistics from Columbia University and is currently working on his PhD from Lancaster University. His research interests include gender, discourse analysis, and intercultural communication.

Charlebois, J. (2009). Cross-Cultural Representations of Hegemonic Masculinity in Shall we Dance. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 9(1), 1–15.

Article Details

Smart Citations via scite_