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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton January 30, 2015

The management of language and power in intercultural contact situations in Japan

Lisa Fairbrother

Abstract

This article examines how participants in intercultural contact situations in Japan manage deviations relating to language and power in their daily life interactions. Based on the management summaries of eight plurilingual residents of Japan, this study investigates how deviations relating to language and power are noted and evaluated and what adjustment strategies are implemented in such cases. The results suggest that the management of language and power is complex and a number of interests may be in conflict. Deviations relating to power may be evaluated both positively and negatively and a lack of language proficiency can actually be used as a powerful tool. It is argued that speaker identity is a crucial issue that influences how interactional problems will be managed.

Published Online: 2015-1-30
Published in Print: 2015-3-1

©2015 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Munich/Boston