Gender and Language, Vol 12, No 3 (2018)

Voices of the hero: dominant masculine ideologies through the speech of Japanese shōnen protagonists

Hannah E. Dahlberg-Dodd
Issued Date: 22 Oct 2018


This paper examines diachronic changes in the pronoun use and phonetic performance of protagonists in shōnen anime, a genre of animated work that is aimed predominately at adolescent boys. Utilising nearly forty years of shōnen anime, this study constructs a diachronic analysis of first-person pronoun usage, the primary pragmatic index of gender performance in Japanese, as well as average pitch and pitch range, which are frequently cited as salient phonetic markers of gender performance but are understudied in this area with regard to language in media. By analysing the way that changes in masculinity structures are reflected in performance of fictional protagonists, this paper demonstrates the necessity for further research on language use, particularly by protagonists, in fictional media, as well as on the way that dominant language ideologies are reproduced and consumed in the popular culture market.

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DOI: 10.1558/genl.32536


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