The Cultural Logic of the Ordinary: Interactional Semiosis and the (Re)-Framing of Daily Life among Japanese Younger Adults

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Abstract

This paper considers how Japanese futsuu “ordinary”-ness functions as a cultural logic that mediates aspirations and interpretations of a good life under conditions of socioeconomic risk and precarity. Invoking ordinariness can be a tactic for (re)-framing otherwise marginalized or marginalizing practices within the norm, shifting what counts as ordinary in the process, and pushing back against neoliberally inflected pressures toward marketable, financialized selfhood. Alignments toward ordinariness emerge across diverse discursive planes including political slogans, blogs, and natural conversations, where the ordinary is treated as aspirational under the shadow of its potential loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Linguistic Anthropology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • interactional semiosis
  • Japan
  • ordinariness
  • precarity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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