The friendship that adolescents develop in situations of “ fixation ” in low-income housing projects is often influenced by their living milieu. The author points out difference between the experiences of boys and girls with particular emphasis on the necessity of establishing places where these young people can meet in safety, a source of elaboration. The educational stakes are high in the struggle against their fear of the outside world, but also their fear of relationships with each other.
This article is based on research carried out with youths in a system of semi-liberty who benefit from socio-educative care at Belo-Horizonte in Brazil.
These adolescents live in a bellicose world where the warrior ethos dominates, associated with the idea that manhood has no affect, an imaginary and real construction of the modern world which alienates manhood into violence. The bandit has no friends, friendship being supposed to belong to the territory of the sacred.
The creations of privileged spaces, of dialogue, would help to deconstruct this violent ideal of manhood and its relations of domination so that friendship would not be banished from relationships between human beings.
Developing the theme of culture among friends accentuates the shared ideals that are constructed at this time. In a first chapter, this “ adolescens or intersubjectal culture ” is differentiated from the intergenerational “ psychology of fathers and mothers ”. It helps to construct adolescent communities whose references are a-familial.
Groups of couples should be distinguished from communities of friends. The first have a class dialectic with institutions. The second have intercommunity relations which are inter and intra-generational. These theoretical points of view will conclude with the analysis of the adolescent friendship of Paul Cézanne and Émile Zola and its outcome.
Starting from the interest for new technologies and for what they bring to the new practice of teenagers on the Internet, we will question the implication of blogs in friendly exchanges. Teenagers from 12 to 17 years old attest to their use of skyblogs and show how these take part in “ real ” friendship. The conundrum of forming lasting bonds of friendship will be investigated from the “ blogosphère ”. The body’s issues and the litmus test of ideal by virtual show the difficulties that new Internet technologies give rise to. Far from being a pathological haven, the blog can be a transitional space where the inner is shared with friends. Thus, according to the subjects, the teenager can find narcissistic solutions or make use of a new tool that will help him to grasp the modernity that forms a part of him. These tools will enable him to experiment and bring life to his friendly links
Is the friend a “ same”, a “ model ”, a “ figure of same-sexed investment ” ? These questions are reviewed using two clinical accounts and several propositions. First of all, the Friend occurs within a potential space, a “ between –two ” and is not to be confused with the subject. Then, it appears clinically (case of Sabrina) that the Friend is often the condition of the subject’s encounter with an object of love and eroticisation. Thus there is a triangulation complex implying : Subject, Friend, love object. A series of dialectical operations define their bonds according to a complex mode of resemblance/difference.
The Freudian model of Œdipal triangulation is mobilized, notably through family romance, to analyze the clinical account of Sophie. Desires that are incestuous insofar as fratricidal would have their place in the terms of romantic vaudeville between Subject, object, Friend… We conclude by suggesting that the juvenile period be considered as a amicable Œdipal romance, forged by investments in the Friend and the object. The concept of the coat of arms completes the dialectical process related to the Subject-Friend bond, thus becoming emblematic of what we call Friendship.
The central issue of this text is to see whether the thematic of Philia may be relevant in some way to the psychoanalytical approach. Psychoanalysis’ affinities with Eros do not argue in favour of this, unless we take into account conceptualizations of Winnicott, who links friendship with the notions of “ relation to the ego ” and the “ capacity for being alone ”. From this one gathers that the gift of friendship would be involved in the process of affective maturation, whose most elaborated phenomenon is the capacity for being alone in the presence of the other. The friend cannot be viewed as a mere model or as the equivalent of a self-portrait. Neither can he be reduced to another oneself, though he holds something that is due to me. If teenagers have a preference for friendship, it is because the gift of friendship is indispensable for them in the starting and accompanying the movements of subjectivation of the adolescens. In this sense, all friendship is contemporary with a subjective rearrangement since it conditions the possibility of emerging as what is proper to ourselves.