Bonded but un-bonded: An ethnographic account of discordance in social relations

Makiko Takekuro*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Based on naturally-occurring conversations and interview narratives collected on Ishigaki Island in Japan’s Okinawa Prefecture, this chapter presents instances of “bonded but un-bonded” experience. Drawing on the notion of discordance (Takekuro 2018), the chapter will bring unexpressed conflicts into sharp focus. Through participants’ comments that suggest that they were not as bonded as it seemed in their interaction, I will show that aspects of bonding and un-bonding (defined as a lack of or the opposites of bonding) are intertwined in social life. Exploring the resulting ambiguity of the two aspects, I attempt to emphasize the importance of ethnographic research and of incorporating the opposites of bonding in considering how bonds are created and maintained.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBonding through Context. Language and interactional alignment in Japanese situated discourse
EditorsRisako Ide, Kaori Hata
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9789027260635
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NamePragmatics and Beyond New Series
ISSN (Print)0922-842X


  • Bonding
  • Discordance
  • Ethnography
  • Social relations
  • Un-bonding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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