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Wilson, E., Jr. (1985). Revue Française De Psychanalyse, XLIV. 1980: On Some Vicissitudes of Transitional Space in Adolescence. Raymond Cahn. Pp. 531-542.. Psychoanal Q., 54:328.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Revue Française De Psychanalyse, XLIV. 1980: On Some Vicissitudes of Transitional Space in Adolescence. Raymond Cahn. Pp. 531-542.

(1985). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 54:328

Revue Française De Psychanalyse, XLIV. 1980: On Some Vicissitudes of Transitional Space in Adolescence. Raymond Cahn. Pp. 531-542.

Emmett Wilson, Jr.

Several clinical vignettes are examined to illustrate Cahn's thesis that the movement from childhood into adolescence involves a space carved out by separation between the adolescent and his mother, between the adolescent and childhood. In his view, this space is offered by the socius through the body of rituals and myths. These constitute a transitional illusion, shared by the group, the adolescent's family, and the adolescent himself, symbolizing and guaranteeing the self and its identity. The cultural complex of initiation myths provides a transitional space and anticipates and eases the difficulties of the transition, giving a sense to life for the adolescent. The adolescent in our society, however, is forced to forge his own illusory space, his own personal myth, and his own religion, in order to give sense and living reality to the encounter between his desires, his fears, his fantasies, and the things and persons surrounding him. This transitional space depends at the same time on internal and external objects, and the history of these objects and their functioning may determine the characteristics of the transitional space available to the adolescent. The contemporary adolescent, lacking the complex of myths and initiation rites, has a difficult choice between adherence to contemporary myths and the self-creation of his personal myth, with all the difficulties and cultural isolation this would bring.

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Article Citation

Wilson, E., Jr. (1985). Revue Française De Psychanalyse, XLIV. 1980. Psychoanal. Q., 54:328

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