The Cultural Context and Social Representation The Japanese Schoolgirl in British Popular Culture

Perry Hinton (1)
(1) School of Psychology, Social Work & Human Sciences University of West London , United Kingdom


As an embodiment of the shoujo, a specific Japanese representation of 'girl', the schoolgirl often appears as a central character in Japanese popular culture. With the import, and widespread availability, of Japanese cultural products in the West (such as comics called manga, animated movies called anime, toys and games), the Japanese schoolgirl has gained a visibility in Western popular culture, and perceived as cute and shy. In this paper, the way the Japanese schoolgirl is represented in British popular culture is examined, and contrasted with the representation in Japan. It is concluded that cultural context influences the representation and, in agreement with the work of Saito (1996), the British representation is simplistic and distorted in comparison to that in Japan.

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Perry Hinton (Primary Contact)
Author Biography

Perry Hinton, School of Psychology, Social Work & Human Sciences University of West London

Dr Perry Hinton is a socio-cultural psychologist at the University of West London, researching in the area of cognition and culture, particularly in terms of representations, culture and media interpretation. He obtained his doctoral in psychology from the University of Oxford and has taught psychology and communication at four UK Universities for over twenty five years. He is editor of the Routledge Psychology Focus series and author of Statistics Explained (2004). He has published books on The Psychology of Interpersonal Perception (1993) and Stereotypes, Cognition & Culture (2000) and contributed to Kotthoff and Spencer-Oatey (eds.) (2007) Handbook of Intercultural Communication.

Hinton, P. (2013). The Cultural Context and Social Representation The Japanese Schoolgirl in British Popular Culture. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 13(1), 1–14.

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