[The imaginary in familialist terms, and social intervention among street youth: an alternative for collective intervention in Montreal.].

  • M Parazelli
  • Published 2000 in Santé mentale au Québec

Abstract

The creation of imaginary families among street youth gives the peer group an identity prop that enables a young person living on the street to escape from his or her real family, thus reinforcing the imaginary dimension surrounding the myth of natural autonomy. While the group may gain a real sense of protection that is necessary in adolescence, the familialist projection that these young people unconsciously call into play constitutes what the founder of socio-psychoanalysis, Gérard Mendel, calls "psycho-familialist regression". Society is not a family, and familialist projections may block social relations with any adults who are identified with parental authority that may be potentially threatening for the "family of street youth". For that reason, in 1998, a form of collective mediation was tested in Montreal as part of a pilot project to develop young street people's social autonomy through on-going dialogue between them, elected municipal officials and youth workers. Relying on applied research from socio-psychoanalysis, this pilot project made it possible to alleviate familialist projections and offer street youth other alternatives in terms of self-image.

Cite this paper

@article{Parazelli2000TheII, title={[The imaginary in familialist terms, and social intervention among street youth: an alternative for collective intervention in Montreal.].}, author={M Parazelli}, journal={Santé mentale au Québec}, year={2000}, volume={25 2}, pages={40-66} }