Journal of Critical Issues in Educational Practice


dominant discourse, positioning theory, humor, hikikomori, NEET


This study examines how dominant discourses are deconstructed in a consulting, particularly focusing on self-deprecating humor. Data were collected from a session with a Japanese client whose son was in hikikomori or NEET state, and a transcript of the session was analyzed using positioning theory. Examining several extracts shows how the client’s positioning of her son and herself is influenced by some dominant discourses, such as deficit discourse and so on. These dominant discourses are deconstructed by self-deprecating humor, because such ironical self-positioning makes these discourses visible, and defeats the self made by society. We discuss the findings with the word “queer” and cultural power of self-deprecating humor. This study contributes to understanding the way of cultural resistance to dominant discourse and the value of discourse analysis for reflexive practice.

Author Statement

Specially-Assigned Assistant Professor, University of Fukui (Japan)

A former visiting scholar, California State University, San Bernardino

A clinical psychologist in Japan