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A CASE STUDY OF A CHINESE ‘HIKIKOMORIAN’ IN CANADA – THEORIZING THE PROCESS OF HIKIKOMORIZATION

Keywords: hikikomori , social withdrawal , case study

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Abstract:

The term ‘hikikomori’ originates from Japan and means ‘acute social withdrawal’. This study intends to investigate into the causes of hikikomori which is increasing worldwide phenomenon. The methodology is a case study approach located in an interpretive paradigm. The data was mainly collected through e-mails with the participant and phone conversations with his mother. The participant was a ‘hiki-ko-morian’ who was invited to investigate his own problem and further to be the co-author of this paper. The literature findings and this case study were then conceptualized into a more wide-ranging framework in compre-hen-ding the process of hikikomorization. The result appears to show that hikikomorization involves three processes: first, a predisposed introverted personality; second, the effects of multiple environmental factors such as family, school and society; and finally, the trigger point, such as the end of schooling or a stressful event. The study offers implications for other hiki-ko-mo-rians in better understanding of their problems and for practitioners working with reclusive ado-lescents and their families.

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