17 January 2009

Asian Studies Master's Thesis on Hikikomori Okay, After several years of pain and suffering I finally finished my Master's Thesis on my hikikomori research done from 2003-2004. And for all those hours of work I got a nifty cap December 2008: ...And a second Master's Degree. Though I don't think you can put two "MA"s after your name in correspondence except for humorous effect: Michael Dziesinski MA MA Back on topic. Yeah, I know, publishing four years later is a bit pitiful- but you try doing two graduate programs at the same time see how much that slows you down. Here's the Abstract: Hikikomori, coined by Tokyo Psychologist Saito Tamaki, describes a trend of Japanese youth, primarily male, who shut out contact with society by hiding within their parents’ homes for months or years at a time. In the process, these hermits become truants and school refusals, failing out of school and work through their long periods of seclusion. Further, reentry into society as middle-class adults is difficult for those with a history of acute social withdrawal. This study examines Takeyama, a private rehabilitation institution for hikikomori in Tokyo, Japan. Over the three years of Takeyama’s rehabilitation program, hikikomori youth are exposed to daily social rehabilitation structured around an idealized norm of conduct through group participation, routinization, and repetition. The process of hikikomori rehabilitation at Takeyama also takes on the dimensions of gender and class socialization: the normalization of hikikomori youth with middle class backgrounds into a viable adult gendered working class identity. My Master's thesis on the subject is available...

Michael Dziesinski

I'm a University of Hawaii PhD in Sociology discussing youth issues in Japanese society in this blog.

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