Preadolescence : a temporary return to Lacan's real ?

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O'Baoill, Roisin
Issue Date
BA in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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The first part of this essay consists of a systematization of what psychoanalysis says about the life of the boy from latency through to the end of adolescence. This will serve as a backdrop to the second part of this essay, which addresses the main issue of this paper ... that the preadolescence phase can be seen as a temporary return to Lacan's 'Real'. An attempt will be made to illustrate this with the help of the self-reports of 12 adolescents, 6 of whom are currently in the preadolescent phase, and with the help of the responses of 125 adolescents who were surveyed. Observation of, and long-term interaction with preadolescents, spanning almost twenty years, provides further evidence that preadolescents inhabit Lacan's 'real' world, in the sense of being flooded with instinctual energy, like pre-mirror stage children, and being without a coherent language which will symbolise their world and thus render it controllable and bearable. A selection of the self-reports and the survey responses are included as appendices and are referred to whenever they serve to illustrate or affirm a point in the text, and the final chapter and conclusion will focus on The Real as the locus of the pre-adolescent psyche.