The Co-Construction of Identity As ‘Japanese Women Living Abroad' in Interview Narratives

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 9:15 AM
Room: 315
Oral Presentation
Kaori HATA , Osaka University, Toyonaka, Osaka-Fu, Japan
This paper aims to illustrate how Japanese women living in London as permanent residents co-construct and represent their identities. As a recent trend of the social science of language, narrative has been analysed as talk-in-interaction. Following this perspective, narrative should not be analysed as a mere representation of past events, but should be understood as a process of co-construction influenced by the social norms of their new/previous communities.

In this presentation, the presenter will focus on aspects of co-construction in the narratives of Japanese women who were indirectly affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. The interview narrative data collected in London in 2012 have been analysed from the perspective of positioning theory (Bamberg 1997, De Fina 2003, De Fina, Shiffrin and Bamberg 2006 and others), analytical methods of small stories (Bamberg 2004, Georgakopoulou 2007) and multimodality (Goodwin 1981, Hearth 1986, McNeil 1992, 2005, Kataoka 2011).

Analysis of the data shows how co-construction is manifested in linguistic and other semiotic resources - final particles, supportive giving/ receiving verbs, nodding, laughter, dysfluency, overlapping, gesture, eye gaze, and so on - appearing in interview narratives. This presentation will reveal that 1) how the narrative message can be conveyed by not only language, but also other semiotic resources, 2) the participants of the conversation put much value on collaboratively constructing their mutual identities in the ‘here and now’ situation, rather than the contents of their storytelling, 3) they inevitably encounter aspects of internal conflict derived from the need to represent their feelings in view of the social norms of their original and current community and the pragmatic constraints on expression in their mother tongue.