Remaking futsuu ‘ordinary’ in the discourse of younger Japanese adults

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This paper examines the use of expressions related to futsuu ‘ordinary’ by contemporary Japanese younger adults. Under conditions of socioeconomic precarity, the achievement of an ‘ordinary life’ is falling out of reach for many younger adults in Japan creating a situation in which ‘ordinariness’ is framed as an aspirational goal. Analysis considers how younger Japanese adults use futsuu to discursively (re)-frame what counts as standard or desirable practice and to enfold otherwise marginalized practices into contextually dependent norms. In demonstrating how the deployment of futsuu expressions both reflects and shapes the ethnometapragmatic order of things, this paper argues that ordinariness itself is an interactionally contingent semiotic event.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-140
Number of pages12
JournalLanguage and Communication
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • Discourse (re)-framing
  • Futsuu ni
  • Japanese
  • Ordinary
  • Precarity
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language


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