Terms of Address and Identity in American-Japanese Workplace Interaction

  • Stephen J. Moody
Part of the Communicating in Professions and Organizations book series (PSPOD)


This study explores the interactional use of address terms in workplace conversations between Japanese workers and American student interns. It is found that speakers generally use the term that is most neutral and unmarked in the addressee’s native language and culture: Japanese address American interns by their first names while the Americans address the Japanese with last name plus the suffix san. Several examples of American interns deviating from typical patterns are also examined, revealing that non-standard forms of address are a resource for interactionally reinterpreting identities so as to mitigate impositions or disagreements. Implications for identity in intercultural professional communication are discussed.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen J. Moody
    • 1
  1. 1.Brigham Young UniversityProvoUSA

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