Volume 9, 2017
The Foundations of Support Relationship for Hikikomori People
Self-determination, Shared-determination, and Self-definition
Hikikomori has been one of the social problems in Japan since late 1990s. This term refers to young people who do not go to school or work and stay at home. The aim of this paper is to criticize the current framework of support for them, and to clarify the foundations of a support relationship for them by referring to interview data from hikikomori people and to Alfred Schutz’s theoretical framework. It is not only possible, but also important, to set up basic principles for supporting them, given that a death of a hikikomori person occurred in a private institution which trained hikikomori people in 2006. This paper points out the problems of one mainstream model of the hikikomori support relationship, paternalism, and develops the following 3 principles as the foundation of hikikomori support based on empirical and theoretical considerations: (1) to respect self-determination, (2) to value consensus making in shared-determination, and (3) to take account of the biographically determined, intersubjective foundation at both levels of self-definition and decision making.