Academy of devotion
performing status, hierarchy, and masculinity on reality TV
Keywords:masculinities, reality tv, indexicality, regional dialect, kansai japan
In the late 1990s, Japan was experiencing an economic recession combined with an unrelenting stagnated birth rate; Japanese people and government officials called for men to increase their participation in domestic duties and life. Amid this outcry, an all-male reality TV comedy programme debuted: Junj? Gakuen Otokogumi (Academy of Devotion: Men’s Team) regaled late-night audiences with men being stereotypically masculine and hilarious. This article focuses specifically on two of the participants’ linguistic and physical behaviours in this TV programme. The two men are famous Kansai-based comedians, but act as high school teachers in the programme. The programme, I argue, provides a counternarrative to the national movement towards a softer masculinity that engages in domestic duties and delivers, instead, the kind of stereotypical masculinity associated with hegemonic salaryman ideology.
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