Amanda Robinson, PhD Candidate: “Animal Socialities: Healing and Affect in a Japanese Animal Café”

April 4, 2017 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm


a public presentation

Tuesday, April 4th, at 1:00 pm in the Anthropology Lounge, 3106 WWPH

Amanda Robinson

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 and Address

3106 WWPH