Culture, Social And Cultural Changes Essay

Culture, Social And Cultural Changes Essay

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Within Western culture, social and cultural changes have evolved how people perceive themselves and others, resulting in a large increase in mental syndromes, such as anorexia and depression. While the western society has suffered from [body stereotyping..?], Asian countries have seen a rise in youth socially withdrawing for extended periods of time. In Japan, such a term is called hikikomori. It is a quickly developing syndrome in which adolescents “lock themselves away in their rooms for months, years, or even sometimes decades at a time, with minimal social contact” (Rosenthal and Zimmerman 82). Even though these syndromes are a result of different cultural backgrounds, they hold similar properties; both have the capacity to be considered a cultural-bound syndrome. While anorexia focuses on society assimilating the ideal body shape, hikikomori is a result of Japan’s various cultural attributes and pressures, such as its interdependencies, family interactions, education and employment, and overall social expectations (Li and Wong 602). These social demands have caused these youths to remain enclosed within their homes and distanced from society. Influences from globalization on Japan, including major events such as the Japanese tsunami and nuclear catastrophe along with social media and entertainment, have caused cultural expectations to change and tension to form between “traditional family expectation and the new cultural realities of a global, post-recession society” (Rosenthal and Zimmerman 89).
In the past twenty years, the number of hikikomori have drastically increased; a sample community within Japan estimated that approximately 1.2% of the population consisted of hikikomori (Li and Wong 596). Some experts have estimate...

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...tric disorder (Teo and Gaw 446).
While a common diagnosis for hikikomori has yet to be reached, the social demand within Japan’s culture has led to an increase in the number of “socially withdrawn” adolescents (Grisafe par.16). Similar to how anorexia is prevalent in Asia, the possibility of hikikomori becoming recognized within western societies is possible (Furlong 323). Interactions within society through education, family and the workplace have become major determinates for the development of the syndrome. Whether these problems will be addressed to decrease the growing number of hikikomori is uncertain; however, it will unquestionably continue to increase in the future. While some evidence exists that certifies hikikomori as a culture-bound syndrome, a certified approval as yet been reached due to the inability of psychiatrists to distinctly define hikikomori.

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