Social Differences in CMC: a Case Study of Japanese Mobile Phone E-mail

Article

Abstract

This study investigates how people in different social groups use computer-mediated communication (CMC) in their communication, using Japanese mobile phone e-mail exchanges as an example. The data corpus for this study—43,295 mails for communication purposes from 60 Japanese young people—is analysed, including non-parametric statistical analysis (Mann-Whitney U test and Steel-Dwass test). As for intergroup differences, Keitai-mail are found to be used differently by different age and gender groups. Women create longer texts with more emoticons and non-standard usage of language than men do. At the same time, they also change their style of composition based on the interlocutors’ gender. These differences suggest that code-switching is actively applied in Keitai-mail communication. Other differences found among different gender and age groups relate to what kind of topics they mainly discuss in Keitai-mail: the topics which they generally choose or which are even unconsciously chosen are reflections of their lifestyle. This study illustrates the different uses of a CMC practice based on users’ properties, and further experimental studies (e.g. structural equation modelling) will elucidate more detailed mechanisms of communication practices, or longitude clinical research will evaluate the factors relating to CMC how critical and prolonged they are, with better treatment outcomes.

Keywords

Computer-mediated communication (CMC) Japanese Mobile phone E-mail Social differences 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This paper is based on my Ph.D. dissertation, and I would like to show my appreciation to Emeritus Professor Nanette Gottlieb Dr. Yuriko Nagata and Dr. Michael Harrington. In addition, I would like to extend my thanks to Emeritus Professor Nanette Gottlieb, the University of Queensland, for proofreading this work.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the University of Queensland’s Behavioural & Social Sciences Ethical Review Committee (Ethical clearance number 17-08) with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

References

  1. Faulkner, X., & Culwin, F. (2005). When fingers do the talking: a study of text messaging. Interacting with Computers, 17, 167–185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Hamada, T. (2007). 携帯メールにおける顔文字・絵文字・記号の使用と性別および性役割観での比較 [A comparative study of gender and gender role differences in uses of facemarks, pictographs, and symbols in Japanese mobile e-mail]. Journal of clinical and Educational Psychology, 33(1), 93.Google Scholar
  3. Hayashi, R. (2007). Industrial design changes and social trends in view of mobile phone history. Sharp Technical Journal, 95, 24–28.Google Scholar
  4. Holmes, J. (1998). Women’s talk: the question of sociolinguistic universals. In J. Coates (Ed.), Language and gender: a reader (pp. 461–483). Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  5. Ikeuchi, F., Nozaki, H., Tetsuro, E., & Umeda, K. (2010). 大学生を対象とした携帯電話のメールにおける絵文字使用量についての分析 [Analysis of the amount of pre-installed picture emoticons in mobile phone e-mail by university students]. JSiSE Research Report, 25(2), 3–8.Google Scholar
  6. Itakura, H., & Tsui, A. B. M. (2004). Gender and conversational dominance in Japanese conversation. Language in Society, 33, 223–247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Jungle. Inc. (2009). Keitai-master MX ver4.5 [Computer software].Google Scholar
  8. Kurosumi, K., & Fukada, H. (2005). Influence of sex and gender on cellular phone call and cellular phone mail. Hiroshima Psychological Research, 5, 69–92.Google Scholar
  9. Labov, W. (1966). The social stratification of English in New York City. Washington, DC: Center for Applied Linguistics.Google Scholar
  10. Laursen, D. (2005). Please reply! The relying norm in adolescent SMS communication. In R. Harper, L. Palen, & A. Taylor (Eds.), The inside text: social, cultural and design perspectives on SMS (pp. 53–73). Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Ling, R., Julsrud, T., & Yttri, B. (2005). Nascent communication genres within sms and mms. In R. Harper, L. Palen, & A. Taylor (Eds.), The inside text: social, cultural and design perspectives on SMS (pp. 75–100). Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Miller, L. (2004). Those naughty teenage girls: Japanese kogals, slang, and media assessments. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, 14(2), 225–247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Miyamoto, S., & Kotera, M. (2004). Gender consciousness in mail communication by cellular phone: from the perspective of politeness strategies. Research Reports, 6, 127–137.Google Scholar
  14. Okuyama, Y. (2009). Keetai Meeru: younger people’s mobile written communication in Japan. Retrieved 10 August, 2017, from http://www.japanesestudies.org.uk/articles/2009/Okuyama.html.
  15. Romaine, S. (2000). Language in society: an introduction to sociolinguistics. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Tachikawa, Y. (2005). 若年層の携帯メールにおける各種絵記号の使用-メールのテキスト分析 [The use of emoticons in mobile e-mail by youth: a text analysis of e-mail]. Gobun, 122, 108–123.Google Scholar
  17. Takashima, T. (2001). 漢字と日本人 [Chinese characters and Japanese people]. Tokyo: Bungei Shunju.Google Scholar
  18. Tanaka, Y. (2001). 携帯電話と電子メイルの表現 [Expressions in mobile-phone and e-mail communication]. In 現代日本語講座 [Lectures on modern Japanese] (Vol. 2, pp. 98–127). Tokyo: Meiji Shoin.Google Scholar
  19. Tochihara, N. (2010). 若年女性における携帯メールの使い分け [Variations of mobile texting usage among young women]. Gobun, 137, 111–101.Google Scholar
  20. Tsuboi, Y. (2003). Otoko-de/Onna-de: gender differences in the writing system. Tsukuba Nihongo Kenkyū, 8(1), 1–21.Google Scholar
  21. Twine, N. (1991). Language and the modern state: the reform of written Japanese. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  22. Wardhaugh, R. (2006). An introduction to sociolinguistics (5th ed.). Malden: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
  23. Yamanishi, Y. (2007). Communication by written language among female university students: from the viewpoint of comparison of gender differences in media differences. Gobun, 128, 76–94.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tamagawa UniveristyTokyoJapan

Personalised recommendations