Inside a Japanese Sharehouse : Dreams and Realities book cover
1st Edition

Inside a Japanese Sharehouse
Dreams and Realities

ISBN 9780367561666
Published August 1, 2022 by Routledge
158 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book explores social change in Japan at the most intimate site of social interaction – the home – by providing a detailed ethnography of everyday life in a sharehouse. Sharehouses, which emerged in the 2007 'sharehouse boom', are a deliberate alternative to life in the family home and are considered an experimental space for the construction of new social identities.

Through a description of the micro-level, mundane, material interactions among residents within a mid-sized, mixed-sex sharehouse, the book considers what these interactions indicate about existing – and often conflicting – ideas about intimacy, privacy, gender, the individual, family, community, and the home.

In so doing it highlights how sharehouse residents, though a dramatic rejection of the twentieth-century domestic model, with its ideal of the family home as a partnership between a male wage-earner and a dedicated housewife, and its implied separation of 'family' and 'outsiders', are nevertheless uneasy about overturning existing gender roles and giving precedence to the individual over community, and are regarded as a foreign import.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Aspiration

Chapter 3: International Exchange

Chapter 4: Public and Private

Chapter 5: Nuisance

Chapter 6: Waste

Chapter 7: Village Society

Chapter 8: Conclusion


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Caitlin Meagher is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Skidmore College, USA.