Amy Borovoy is a cultural anthropologist who studies modern Japanese society and culture. Her work has focused on health care and mental health in the context of Japan’s social democracy, with its emphasis on family and corporate welfare. She has written on the cultural construction of alcoholism and codependency in The Too-Good Wife: Alcohol, Codependence, and the Politics of Nurturance in Postwar Japan (University of California 2005), which explores the problem of male alcoholism and the role of the housewife and domesticity in public life. Borovoy's work on the phenomenon of hikikomori (young adults who isolate themselves at home) explores resistance to the medicalization of youth issues among psychiatrists, social workers, and teachers. Borovoy has also written "Japan as Mirror: Neoliberalism's Promise and Costs,” in Ethnographies of Neoliberalism (Carol J. Greenhouse, editor), “The Rise of Eating Disorders in Japan: Issues of Culture and Limitations of the Model of ‘Westernization’” co-authored with Kathleen Pike, and “Decentering Agency in Feminist Theory” with Kristen Ghodsee. Her current manuscript in progress, Japan in American Social Thought, explores postwar Japan studies as a space in which to imagine alternatives to liberalism and individualism in American anthropology and the social sciences.
1. The Too-Good Wife: Alcohol, Codependency, and the Politics of Nurturance in Postwar Japan