In this article, we offer a reading after-the-fact of interviews with Lebanese adolescents born at the end of the so-called civil war (1975-1990), experiencing their intersubjective and social relations in situations of fragility and precariousness in Karm Al Zaïtoun (a neighborhood in east Beyrouth). Three spaces of circulation influence the formation of identity processes in these Lebanese adolescents : the “ tradition ”space, the “ day-to-day survival ” space, and the “ imported models for identification ” space. Here we will speak more specifically of the relation that the Lebanese adolescent maintains with the “ tradition-” space and the “ day-to-day survival ”space. The latter is marked by identification with heroic figures, territorial domination and the rituals of daily practices. This daily space functions as a space for survival, in which adolescents have a deep investment. The space of tradition provides the adolescent with protection and a form of continuity of self, but it remains threatening and aleatory, insofar as it is marked by a break with the past tied to the war. The absence of confrontation of space with generational time does not facilitate reference to a shared, legitimized past, that could guarantee continuity of self.
This article aims to show forces impacting on the development of teenagers living in Lebanon during their formative years, by seeking to understand the relationship of the socio-historical context of the country on the psychological difficulties related to adolescence. The analysis of a clinical interview conducted with a teenager living in Beirut is compared with the author’s own personal experience, and led the author to demonstrate a confrontation between « the experience level of personal crisis » and that related to « political crisis ». The hypothesis is a repetition of the threat inherent in the psychic process of teen development by added weight of external threat of political situations.
revue Adolescence, 2011, T. 29 n°4, pp. 849-861.