Areas of Expertise
Professor Horiguchi is a socio-cultural and medical anthropologist whose geographical focus has been on Japan. She currently specializes in youth mental health issues and foreign language education in contemporary Japan.
Professor Horiguchi has taught introductory courses in anthropology (general, sociocultural, medical) as well as specialized courses in the anthropology of Japan and medical anthropology.
Professor Horiguchi's research interests lie in youth mental health issues in contemporary Japan, in particular, on so-called hikikomori (shut-ins). Upon examination of the social construction of hikikomori as a youth social problem in contemporary Japan, she has been conducting ethnographic research in support organizations for hikikomori youth and families of hikikomori. More recently, she has recently been part of a MEXT/JSPS funded collaborative project with psychiatrists, anthropologists, and sociologists conducting comparative research of hikikomori in Japan and France. She also works on foreign language education in Japan, from the perspectives of educational and organizational anthropology.
Building upon the critical perspective she has gained through working as a 'native anthropologist' in Japan, she has had keen interest in the positionality of academics researching Japan with reference to area studies and disciplines, and lack of communication between Japanese social scientists and non-Japanese scholars studying aspects of Japanese society.