Language and masculinity

the role of Osaka dialect in contemporary ideals of fatherhood


  • Cindi SturtzSreetharan Arizona State University School of Human Evolution and Social Change



masculinity, fatherhood, internal globalisation, regional dialect, Japan


The unexpected use of Osaka dialect in the 2013 film Like Father, Like Son directed by Hirokazu Kore’eda, presents an opportunity to scrutinise its role in indexing
masculinity, class and fatherhood. The film depicts two styles of fatherhood: one, a cool and disconnected father representing the archetypal upper-middle class but absent salaryman patriarch; the other, a warm and emotionally connected father representing a new kind of patriarch who is engaged in child rearing. These contrasting styles are indexed linguistically through standard Japanese and Osaka dialect respectively. Extending the framework of a sociolinguistics of the periphery to a case of internal language variation, the mobility of Osaka dialect is highlighted. Specifically, through the process of translocalisation, the enregistered indices of Osaka dialect mediate the creation of a new social type: the caring and connected father.

Author Biography

Cindi SturtzSreetharan, Arizona State University School of Human Evolution and Social Change

Cindi SturtzSreetharan is an Associate Professor in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University.  She has published on Japanese language and masculinity drawing from both naturally occurring conversations and more recently from representations of speakers in televisual media contexts.


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How to Cite

SturtzSreetharan, C. (2017). Language and masculinity: the role of Osaka dialect in contemporary ideals of fatherhood. Gender and Language, 11(4), 552–574.