Allison Alexy

University of Michigan 


Allison Alexy is a cultural anthropologist focusing on contemporary Japan, with interest in ideals and experiences of family lives, constructions of intimacy, and legal anthropology. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Michigan (US). Through the lens of family life, her ethnographic research investigates changing norms around the social and legal constructions of gender contextualized within the rapid societal changes of recent decades. Her bookIntimate Disconnections: Divorce and the Romance of Independence in Contemporary Japan, considers how people negotiate freedom, happiness, and connections through divorce. It was published by the University of Chicago Press and is also available through open access, with subvention funds from the TOME program. A Japanese version, translated by Takeshi Hamano, was published by Misuzu Press. A (simplified) Chinese version, translated by Xiangning Amy Xu and Xianyan Peng, was published by East China Normal University Press.She is now working on a book project Family Law in a Family Nation: Parental Abductions and Activism in Contemporary Japan, exploring how conflicts between family members – such as custody disputes, parental abductions, and more – are handled in the court system and also by individual people if the courts provide insufficient resolution.