Food experiences and categorization in Japanese talk-in-interaction
This study investigates how categorization of food is formed around participants’ experiences in their daily lives in spontaneous face-to-face conversations between Japanese native speakers. Building on previous studies on categorization in conversation analysis and cognitive psychology, this study examines how participants collaboratively share, negotiate, and create categories through talk about familiar and unfamiliar food in the emerging interaction. The analyses demonstrate that participants deploy socio-culturally categorized food in order to co-construct their temporal/ spatial concepts, identity, and personal/ social events, and that they utilize categorized food in order to achieve mutual understanding on unfamiliar food in talk-in-interaction. This study sheds light on the cognitive and interactional processes involved in the activity of categorization for group solidarity through conversational practices in social interaction.