Stoicism or shyness?: Japanese professional matchmakers and new masculine conversational ideals

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

I examine data from my fieldwork with Japanese professional matchmakers and their attitude towards new, “less masculine” masculinities. Matchmakers’ ideologies of conversation show that they understand “good partners” as having personality traits that are not particularly ascribed to any gender. Consequently, they allow for flexibility in gendered behavior, as long as their clients can be brought within the heterosexual institution of marriage. As in previous work in the field of language and sexuality, I focus on the way that genders and sexualities are performed through language. However, by focusing on matchmakers, I aim to examine the institutional structures and language ideologies that constrain the process of self-fashioning. Like other recent work on topics such as “personal development”, I treat “self-fashioning” as a multiparty process by addressing the role of the expert in constructing the advice by which clients are supposed to (re)fashion themselves.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-218
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Language and Sexuality
Volume3
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2014

Fingerprint

Ideologies
sexuality
language
gender
personality traits
masculinity
conversation
flexibility
marriage
expert

Keywords

  • Japan
  • language ideologies
  • masculinity
  • matchmaking
  • self-fashioning

Cite this

Stoicism or shyness?: Japanese professional matchmakers and new masculine conversational ideals. / Alpert, Erika.

In: Journal of Language and Sexuality, Vol. 3, No. 2, 01.01.2014, p. 191-218.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{61fa272de2ef42bf9aa7c0c8add4a65a,
title = "Stoicism or shyness?: Japanese professional matchmakers and new masculine conversational ideals",
abstract = "I examine data from my fieldwork with Japanese professional matchmakers and their attitude towards new, “less masculine” masculinities. Matchmakers’ ideologies of conversation show that they understand “good partners” as having personality traits that are not particularly ascribed to any gender. Consequently, they allow for flexibility in gendered behavior, as long as their clients can be brought within the heterosexual institution of marriage. As in previous work in the field of language and sexuality, I focus on the way that genders and sexualities are performed through language. However, by focusing on matchmakers, I aim to examine the institutional structures and language ideologies that constrain the process of self-fashioning. Like other recent work on topics such as “personal development”, I treat “self-fashioning” as a multiparty process by addressing the role of the expert in constructing the advice by which clients are supposed to (re)fashion themselves.",
keywords = "Japan, language ideologies, masculinity, matchmaking, self-fashioning",
author = "Erika Alpert",
year = "2014",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1075/jls.3.2.02alp",
language = "English",
volume = "3",
pages = "191--218",
journal = "Journal of Language and Sexuality",
issn = "2211-3770",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Stoicism or shyness?: Japanese professional matchmakers and new masculine conversational ideals

AU - Alpert, Erika

PY - 2014/1/1

Y1 - 2014/1/1

N2 - I examine data from my fieldwork with Japanese professional matchmakers and their attitude towards new, “less masculine” masculinities. Matchmakers’ ideologies of conversation show that they understand “good partners” as having personality traits that are not particularly ascribed to any gender. Consequently, they allow for flexibility in gendered behavior, as long as their clients can be brought within the heterosexual institution of marriage. As in previous work in the field of language and sexuality, I focus on the way that genders and sexualities are performed through language. However, by focusing on matchmakers, I aim to examine the institutional structures and language ideologies that constrain the process of self-fashioning. Like other recent work on topics such as “personal development”, I treat “self-fashioning” as a multiparty process by addressing the role of the expert in constructing the advice by which clients are supposed to (re)fashion themselves.

AB - I examine data from my fieldwork with Japanese professional matchmakers and their attitude towards new, “less masculine” masculinities. Matchmakers’ ideologies of conversation show that they understand “good partners” as having personality traits that are not particularly ascribed to any gender. Consequently, they allow for flexibility in gendered behavior, as long as their clients can be brought within the heterosexual institution of marriage. As in previous work in the field of language and sexuality, I focus on the way that genders and sexualities are performed through language. However, by focusing on matchmakers, I aim to examine the institutional structures and language ideologies that constrain the process of self-fashioning. Like other recent work on topics such as “personal development”, I treat “self-fashioning” as a multiparty process by addressing the role of the expert in constructing the advice by which clients are supposed to (re)fashion themselves.

KW - Japan

KW - language ideologies

KW - masculinity

KW - matchmaking

KW - self-fashioning

U2 - 10.1075/jls.3.2.02alp

DO - 10.1075/jls.3.2.02alp

M3 - Article

VL - 3

SP - 191

EP - 218

JO - Journal of Language and Sexuality

JF - Journal of Language and Sexuality

SN - 2211-3770

IS - 2

ER -