Gentle masculinity in East Asia: 'Herbivore Men' and interlocutor constructed language

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This study considers the Japanese phenomenon of sooshokukei-danshi (SKD) 'Herbivore Men' within larger discourses of 'East-Asian gentle masculinity.' Focusing on lexical variation across both scripted and naturalistic data, the current study argues that while use of salient variables by SKD identified speakers in media closely conform to stereotypically gendered usage patterns, use of these variables in naturalistic data is more complex, suggesting speakers' engagement in the performance of a range of gendered stances. Furthermore, data indicate that rather than use of particular lexical items, e.g. a given pragmatic particle, the performance of gendered types emerges through patterns in the use of a range of items and that use of a single item does not by itself signal gendered performance. Concurrently, interlocutors ignore speakers' use of otherwise salient variables when they do not conform to interlocutors' pre-existing images of these speakers, focusing instead on use of those variables that confirm their metalinguistic images of the speaker.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-280
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Asian Pacific Communication
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Character types
  • Gender performance
  • Japanese masculinity
  • Mediatization
  • Pragmatic particles
  • Sooshokukei-danshi
  • Stance construction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Communication
  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Economics and Econometrics


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