Amanda Robinson 04 Apr 2017
ANTHROPOLOGY PhD DISSERTATION
a public presentation
Tuesday, April 4th, at 1:00 pm in the Anthropology Lounge, 3106 WWPH
PhD Candidate, University of Pittsburgh
Animal Socialities: Healing and Affect in a Japanese Animal Café
This presentation examines how young people in Japan use “animal cafés” to meet their need for sociality. In animal cafés, owners, employees and customers are all involved in constructing a refuge from the social consequences of Japan’s labor market deregulation. I propose that the sociality of the animal café is tied to relaxation and the performance of non-productivity, where visitors can feel connected to others in a public space without having to “work” at interacting. As a business that allows visitors to experience a sense of iyashi (healing) that emerge from non-discursive, relaxing connections with animals, I conceptualize animal cafés as part of the affect economy that is increasingly important as Japanese people turn to the market to meet their emotional needs.
Location: 3106 WWPH