A Psychosocial Study of the Professional Recourse to the Adolescent Body in Education
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A Psychosocial Study of The Professional Recourse to The Adolescent Body in Education examines formulations of the adolescent body in the major social establishments of education, psychiatry, politics, and law. The dissertation shows how the discontentments of adolescent subjectivity are linked to biological irregularities understood as objective realities. Despite the growing challenges posed by this visions and the difficulties it presents which remain unsolved, the non-dynamic view of the adolescent body survives as a chief organizing medium for relations of care in social establishments. This imaginary of experience maintains a belief system wherein adolescent subjectivity is premised upon being explained with accuracy and legitimacy, largely without question, despite the actuality that this vision is not supported by relevant evidence. These messages provide a paradox that frames the central inquiry in this dissertation: The stresses and sorrows that express the spectrum of ordinary and exceptional adolescent subjectivity show the striking ways in which the adolescent body is the site for the enactment of confusion, conflict and pain. The following intervention involves a concurrent analysis that explores the tensions between five approachesthe educational, legal, medical, psychosocial and popular genesis of the dynamic of adolescent subjectivity. I characterize the significant difficulties that arise when the genesis of adolescent subjectivity is taken to be determined by the gesture of a non-dynamic adolescent body that internalizes causes in the body and externalizes the work of care and its provision. The tensions in these approaches are taken up through a series of case studies drawn from medical, legal, and literary sources. Starting from a critique of the limitations that are inherent to the vision of the adolescent body as non-dynamic, throughout this dissertation I develop an alternative approach: Using case reasoning, I respond to these discourses, which still hinge on the phantasies embedded and persistent within institutional frameworks, by looking to the account of the adolescent body in psychosocial constructions that suggest that the difficulty of working with and responding to the disturbance in adolescence requires a shift in thinking about transition, transformation, and development.