08 January 2009

Major Update on my Hikikomori Research All Academic, a service for papers presented at conferences, has a nice page that provides an abstract and downloadable PDF of the paper I presented at the 2008 American Sociological Association Annual Meeting(ASA) in Boston last summer. Titled "From Failed Sons to Working Men: Rehabilitating Hikikomori", this paper is taken from data collected for my Asian Studies Master's thesis research from 2003-2004 at a hikikomori rehab center. Please consider this paper an update superior to my previous research provided on this blog. Here is the abstract of my ASA Boston paper: The label of hikikomori, coined by Tokyo Psychologist Saito Tamaki, describes an increasing trend of Japanese youth, primarily male, that shut out contact with society by hiding within their parents’ homes for months or even years at a time. In the process, these youth become truants, failing out of school and work through their long absences from the outside world. Reentry into society in middle class adult roles proves a difficult barrier for recovered hikikomori due to institutional features of Japanese society. This paper examines Takeyama, a private rehabilitation institution for hikikomori located in Tokyo Japan. Over the three-year span of Takeyama’s rehabilitation program, hikikomori youth from middle-class backgrounds are exposed to daily social rehabilitation structured around an idealized norm of conduct through group participation, routinization, and repetition. My central research question for this paper examines how the process of hikikomori rehabilitation observed at Takeyama involves gender and class socialization. Namely, the normalization of male hikikomori youth with middle class backgrounds into a viable...

Michael Dziesinski

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

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