N. Enkelaar interviews M. Stora, specialist of virtual worlds, about the role social networks in identity construction, using as a starting point the book Réseaux (a)sociaux, published in 2021. This leads to a dialogue about the ideals conveyed by these networks, their paradoxes and the way in which they encounter adolescent issues. Social networks serve as both a support and a prison for the adolescent in the making, and their many facets are explored here.
Adolescence, 2022, 40, 2, 259-269.
The technology of the virtual produces an area of illusion that is more and more captivating and engaging for adolescents faced with a reality that is sometimes experienced with anxiety. Video games are the royal road into this parallel domain, particularly through its implications for creativity, sublimation and identity. They play out the fantasy in an interactive form that combines activity and passivity. In adolescence, the incarnation of the heroes of video games based on the infantile heroic identification in its narcissistic dimension (ideal ego) would help to compensate for the loss of parental objects. But, the positive and subjectivating contribution of virtual identity depends on the permeability of this ludic sphere. The richness of the exchange between internal and external realities within this transitional area hinges on the real and reflexive presence of the other, so that the circuit of instances in play can be operative.
The adolescent who turns against his own body is often imprisoned in a logic of doubles from which he tries to protect himself and which he tries to escape. This has the advantage of maintaining the illusion of omnipotence he experienced as a child, of projecting it onto the other with accompanying violence, and of stabilizing the latter by turning it back upon itself in a targeted, limited way. The mutilations that he inflicts on himself are thus real witnesses to the illusion that he needs to construct. What is interesting about a work like Verdi’s Le Trouvère is that it gives us access to the mythic scenario underlying this type of behavior and opens it up to analysis. In it we discover, notably, how self-mutilation is for some adolescents a rite of passage allowing them to confront a mythical double, to their detriment at first, but with the possibility of unmasking it later.
Adolescent crisis as it is manifested today in the poor suburbs is often attributed to an “ illness of ideality ”. The author shows that it is not so much a lack as an excess of material ideals that prevents the adolescent from adhering to the universal values that would facilitate his integration. To show how evolution is possible, he analyses the film La promesse (“ The Promise ”), by the Dardenne brothers, wherein one can follow step by step this evolution in the process of conversion in the widest sense and analyze the important role played by reference to the maternal imago.
The hero in adolescence appears regularly in clinical practice and in literature. The infans seems to be a necessary figuration of the adolescent’s hybrid identity, a necessary passage for getting free of its control. This breaking free implies a symbolic, and particularly heroic, murder. The passage to the act should be understood as a quest for the symbolization of this murder.
Adolescence, 2013, T. 31, n°2, pp. 393-407.
Homer favors two kinds of hero : the hero like Achilles in the Iliad, who glorifies mortal combat and has had many imitators throughout history, and the kind embodied by Ulysses in the Odyssey, in which the hero proves himself by thwarting the obstacles he meets on his way back to his place of origin. On the one hand, we have a struggle between two which, though it certainly brings notoriety, causes the destruction of one of the two parties involved ; on the other hand, we have the hero’s ceaseless combat to save his life and find his place in the city. The first gives precedence to the gaze and is submitted to the requirements of appearances ; the second, on the contrary, first goes after the eye which holds sway over him and takes it apart in order to give himself a name. The adolescent process takes part in theses two discourses at the same time, and presupposes a gradual disengagement from the mastery of sight which reflects back the ideal. Referring to different literary works, the author shows the conditions that make possible this evolution.
Adolescence, 2013, T. 31, n°2, pp. 313-326.
It is standard practice to attribute the human acts of excessive violence that occur regularly in private and in public to an unleashing of aggressive drives : one speaks of the weakness of instances of the superego which have not fulfilled their role. Freud regularly refers to this schema, starting with his establishment of the second topic, and he is the inspiration behind most of the educational models now in force. However, the very ideals that are supposed to control drives can sometimes lead to violent passages to the act. In such cases, there is idealization without sublimation, and the ideal which is at the heart of the idealization is invested for its own sake. Instead of being the vector for desires, opening the way for sublimation, it bottles up drive energy and liberates it in an explosive way. This is why a deeper analysis of ideals is needed if one is to discover the components of the explosion and the way of dealing with it.
Adolescence, 2013, T. 31, n°4, pp. 897-915.
From a reading of Freud, this article focuses on the notions of idealization, ideal formation and Ego Ideal. The post-Freudian distinction between Ego Ideal and ideal ego is made explicit. The article concludes by distinguishing between idealization and sublimation.
Adolescence, 2013, T. 31, n°4, pp. 823-834.