An Exploration of Gender-specific Language in Japanese Popular Culture Gender Stereotypes in Japanese Dating-simulation Games

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Institutionen för språk och litteraturer

Abstract: Traditional ideas of gender identities are affected by everything around us, while continuously being changed and reinforced by society. We are constantly surrounded by ideas of male and female in media and in everyday life. The effect of this is something that can be observed even in our use of language.Gendered language in Japanese is very evident, with certain elements exclusively or more commonly used by either male or female speakers. This is something that has been historically constituted and is still used to some extent today.This study explores the actuality of the usage of gendered language within romantically charged video games called “dating-simulation games”. The makers of these games strive to achieve ideal characters of both genders, “perfect partners” to suit the taste of Japanese people.The findings of this study indicate that gendered language is used to a great extent in Japanese dating-simulation games, showing that traditional ideas of male and female are indeed enforced by this media. Yet there are some signs of change in the gendered language and the reality of its usage in today’s popular culture, showing that the change in society might even be changing the use in fiction.

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