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JLA 14.2 Web-Enhanced Article

Those Naughty Teenage Girls: Japanese Kogals, Slang and Media Assessments
Laura Miller

This article examines Kogals, young Japanese women who challenge dominant models of gendered language and behavior through linguistic and cultural innovation. The article describes the linguistic resources Kogals use to construct female-centered subcultural identities and the condemnation and fetishistic interest they provoke in mainstream media. Media focus on these “misbehaving” girls places them at the center of an ongoing struggle over female self-definition and autonomy. The study of Kogals contributes to scholarly analysis of youth subcultures and to understanding of linguistic diversity and cultural heterogeneity in Japan.

Figure 1 The Kogal aesthetic. Photo from Egg magazine, August 2000.
Figure 2 A comic Kogal uses the clipped form Bukuro for Ikebukuro.

Image from GALS! ©1998 Mihona Fujii/Shueisha Inc. Used by permission

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.