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Work of grief over infancy in street adolescents in Cameroon

Amana Evelyne
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Amana Evelyne: Département des Sciences de l’éducation, École normale supérieure de Yaoundé, Université de Yaoundé I, Cameroon

Social Sciences and Education Research Review, 2015, vol. 2, issue 2, pages 23-34

Abstract: Adolescence is a period that is marked by an identity crisis which is itself a consequence of the balance-unsettling puberty transformations following the earlier resolution of the oedipal complex. Balance will be once again activated after the latency period. These transformations trigger others on the affective level (emotional, bonds to earlier objects). A crisis in the social bond can also be observed through this questioning of norms along with family and social values. These different crises contributing to identity construction are "developmental tasks" typical in subjects who actually go through this period; hence they constitute an important process of maturation. The subject can however face difficulties fulfilling those tasks. The article engages this challenge of grieving the passing infancy with its particular symbols as experienced by some adolescents in their responsibility to work out new symbols. In fact, every developmental crisis should, according to Wallon (1963), mediate the passing to the next stage. It is therefore manageable. In the special case of adolescents in the street, the persistence of the crisis characterized by anti-social behaviors specific to this population is nothing else but the difficulty in letting go of the symbols of infancy. This argument about the ‘grieving over infancy’ or mourning of infancy draws on works such as Nasio (2004); Delvenne Nicolis (2007); Marteaux (2008) and Franceschini (2012). The results collected through interviews and observations show the persistence in ‘street adolescents’ of behaviors unfavorable to the realization and reorganization of identity.

Keywords: adolescent in the street; grieving over infancy; crisis; development; identity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O55 H69 Z10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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