By means of some statistics, this article will first present the social and socio-economic components of harragas, young North African migrants who try to reach the shores of Europe. Secondly, a study of their families and their environment will attempt to identify the factors leading to these individual journeys, with emphasis on the notions of risk-taking and quest for self.
Adolescence, 2013, T. 31, n°3, pp. 699-709.
Plans for isolated foreign minors are located at the crossroads where the migratory imagination, the person’s or family’s dreams of the future and the personalized plan constructed with the help of educators come together. Very often, these are opposed to a practice wherein adaptation to reality is supposed to be accomplished by giving up dreams viewed as « utopian ». Using an anthropological study involving twenty young isolated foreign minors (MIE) cared for in Socially Oriented Children’s Centers (MECS) in the Aquitaine region, and D. W. Winnicott’s concept of potential space, this article suggests a different way of thinking about the construction of projects for these youngsters, one which considers their dreams for the future as tools in caring for them.
Adolescence, 2013, T. 31, n°3, pp. 633-649.
Though the exepriences of isolated foreign youths are varied and each has his or her particular history, these adolescents have some psychopathological problems in common. A considerable number of these young people present clinical symptoms of trance or possession, called DTD (dissociative trance disorder) in the DSM IV. Symptoms of trance and possession are probably under-diagnosed in western countries because of cultural bias and an insufficient understanding of dissociative disorders. Patients who present these symptoms are often subject to diagnostic errors, especially diagnoses of psychosis or borderline states, leading to treatments that can aggravate symptoms. These symptoms have multiple functions in isolated foreign youths and should be analyzed in view of the specific stage of development which is adolescence, especially its issues of identity construction. In order to gain a better understanding of the subjective experience of these young people, it is necessary that the therapeutic setting take into account the transcultural dimension and pre-, peri-, and post-migratory issues. We will bring our hypotheses to bear on a review of the psychoanalytic literature and clinical observations.
Adolescence, 2013, T. 31, n°3, pp. 613-623.