Annalisa Verza

The hikikomori and the English garden: disquieting irrationality and common loneliness

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This essay delves into the developements taking place at the «micro» level of personal relations in the Web 2.0 environment, analysing these developements as expressing a peculiar form of «individualist communitarianism». Furthermore, the essay explores how the Web 2.0 technologies enable individuals to algorithmically «program» their social world, thus nurturing the illusion that they can rationally control it by filtering out any irrational element that might intrude upon it from the outside. An extreme case in that regard is the Japanese social phenomenon known as "hikikomori", which is explored considering the antisocial and juridically disruptive effects that may derive from this extreme attempt at so rationalizing one's social world.


  • Social World
  • Rationality
  • New Technologies
  • Social Control


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