This book examines the phenomenon of social withdrawal in Japan, which ranges from school non-attendance to extreme forms of isolation and confinement, known as hikikomori. Based on extensive original research including interview research with a range of practitioners involved in dealing with the phenomenon, the book outlines how hikikomori expresses itself, how it is treated and dealt with and how it has been perceived and regarded in Japan over time. The author, a clinical psychologist with extensive experience of practice, argues that the phenomenon although socially unacceptable is not homogenous, and can be viewed not as a mental disorder, but as an idiom of distress, a passive and effective way of resisting the many great pressures of Japanese schooling and of Japanese society more widely. OPEN ACCESS version here

“The hikikomori phenomenon, according to Tajan, makes visible an ongo- ing process of social transformations of which it is part. One that is par- ticularly visible in Japan, but that is also present in many places across the world. It concerns the place of medical professions in contemporary post- modern societies, the way individuals attempt to make themselves into subjects, their refusal of current mental health practices, and it questions the place and role of anthropological knowledge in this changing world.” Prof. Paul Dumouchel (Preface)

Génération Hikikomori (2017, in French)

Cet ouvrage extrêmement complet est issu d’un travail de thèse de psychopathologie de l’Université de Toulouse le Mirail. L’auteur utilise une méthode tenant de l’anthropologie/ethnologie participante et de la psychanalyse. Il a effectué un vaste travail d’enquête à travers de nombreux ouvrages recensés dans la bibliographie, à travers les ressources des medias, et par le truchement de nombreux entretiens de terrain.” M.-J. Guedj-Bourdiau, Revue de psychiatrie L’Encéphale

L’ouvrage de Nicolas Tajan se présente comme un ouvrage complet, approfondi, dans lequel chaque question soulevée par le phénomène Hikikomori est explorée soigneusement.” A. Combeau Revue Cliniques Méditerranéennes

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