Dr. Paul Christensen teaches anthropology, specializing in contemporary Japan, and his research interests include the use of psychoactive substances and recovery from addiction. His book Alcoholism, Masculinity, and Japan: Suffering Sobriety in Tokyo was published in late 2014. Dr. Christensen has been invited to make presentations at Harvard University, the University of Missouri at St. Louis, the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, and the University of Michigan. He co-advises UNITY, Rose-Hulman’s Gay-Straight Alliance. View his personal page

Academic Degrees

  • BA, University of Washington, 2000
  • MA, San Francisco State University, 2004
  • PhD, University of Hawai͚i at Mānoa, 2010

Awards & Honors

  • Teddy Amoloza Award, ASIANetwork, October 2015
  • Leadership Fellow, American Anthropological Association, 2013
  • Northeast Asia Council Japan Studies Grant for short-term research, 2012

Research Experiences

  • Psychoactive substance use and recovery - particularly as applied to alcoholism
  • Theories of substance use and recovery - particularly as applied to the body
  • Gender and masculinity
  • Geographic areas: Japan, Hawaii and Brazil

Select Publications & Presentations


  • 'Alcoholism, Masculinity, and Japan: Suffering Sobriety in Tokyo.' New York: Lexington Books. 2015

Peer reviewed publications:

  • ‘Non-National Bodies in a National Pass Time: Japan, Baseball, and the Manufacturing of Difference.’ Under review with Japanese Studies. 2017
  • ‘Scripting addiction, constraining recovery: Alcoholism and ideology in Japan.’ Accepted for publication with Japanese Studies. 2017
  • ‘The Program is Perfect: Narcotics Anonymous and the Managing of the American Addict.’ Accepted for publication with Medicine Anthropology Theory. 2017
  • ‘Connoisseurship and drunkenness in Tokyo.’ International Journal of Drug Policy, Volume 25, Issue 4. 2014
  • ‘The Burden of Sobriety: Alcoholism and Masculinity in Japan.’ Pan Japan: The International Journal of the Japanese Diaspora. Blai Gaurne and Paul Hansen ed. Special Edition, Escaping Japan: Outside, Volume 8, Issue 2. 2012
  • ‘Darvish in Texas: Haafu identity and athletic celebrity,’ The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, Volume 10, Issue 44, No. 2.  http://japanfocus.org/-Paul-Christensen/3850  2012
  • ‘Real Men Don’t Hold Their Liquor: The Performance of Drunkenness and Sobriety in Japan.’ Social Science Japan Journal, Volume 15, Issue 2. 2012
  • ‘Struggles with Sobriety: Alcoholics Anonymous Membership in Japan.’ Ethnology, Volume 49, Issue 1. 2010

Chapters in Books:

  • ‘The Burden of Sobriety: Alcoholism and Masculinity in Japan.’ In Modern  Japan, edited by Blai Guarne and Paul Hansen. London: Routledge Japan  Anthropology Workshop Series. 2017
  • ‘Darvish in Texas: Hafu Identity and Athletic Celebrity.’ In Hapa Japan:   Identities and Representations, edited by Duncan Ryuken Williams. Los Angeles:  USC Ito Center/Kaya Press. 2017

Other Publications:

  • ‘Battle of Okinawa’s legacy lives on 70 years later as locals chafe against Japanese rule, US arms.’ The Conversation. https://theconversation.com/battle-of-okinawas-legacy-lives-on-70-years-later-as-locals-chafe-against-japanese-rule-us-arms-39357 2015
  • ‘Surfing: Polynesian Origins of Sport.’ Area Studies Series: Hawai‘i. M. Yamamoto and T. Yamada eds. Tokyo: Akashi Publications [in Japanese]. (ポリ
  • ネシア発祥のスポーツ:サーフィン」山本真鳥・山田亨編『ハワイを知る ための60章』明石書店) 2013
  • ‘The Hawai‘i Student Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Use Study: 2007-2008 Comprehensive Report.’ Submitted to the State of Hawai‘i, Department of Health, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division, ASO Log #09-061. Co-authored with Goebert, D. (first author), Nishimura, S., Onoye, J., Boyd, E., and Rehuher, D. 2009
  • ‘Selected Identities: Ethnic Identity Construction Among the New Japanese Immigrants to the San Francisco Bay Area.’ Masters Thesis, San Francisco State University. Dr. Bernard Wong, chair. 2004
  • ‘Japanese Female Professionals in the San Francisco Bay Area: Gender Based Discrimination in a Globalized World.’ The Treganza Anthropology Museum Papers III, San Francisco State University. 2003

Teaching Interests

  • Anthropology
  • Japan studies
  • Sociology
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