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.
Buy Inside a Japanese Sharehouse: Dreams and Realities by Caitlin Meagher from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, BooksDirect.