Discourse, culture and extraordinary experiences: observations from a comparative, qualitative analysis of Japanese and UK English accounts of paranormal phenomena’

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Publication details

JournalWestern Journal of Communication
DateE-pub ahead of print - 14 Jun 2013
DatePublished (current) - 2013
Issue number4
Number of pages23
Pages (from-to)466-488
Early online date14/06/13
Original languageEnglish


This article examines communicative practices in Japanese and UK English accounts of extraordinary experiences. We compare the way in which specific narrative features are handled: description of the actual experience, and the completion of the narrative. We also examine some ways in which the accounts are rhetorically designed to address skeptical alternatives. The perspective is informed by an ethnomethodological focus on communicative competences in description. This comparison identifies differences between Japanese and UK English narratives. This focus on interactional features of the data is contrasted to macro cultural or psychological perspectives on the relationship between national culture and language.

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