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Journal articles

Marques corporelles, tatouages et solutions subjectives à l’adolescence

Abstract : Background: The practices of body marking are today a current phenomenon found in all social strata, with broad inclusion in all age groups. Motivations are usually associated with an aesthetic approach, a search for identity or an interest in body art. In the field of psychopathology, these references, however, are insufficient to understand the “hidden face” of these body experiments. Indeed, many young people are looking for compulsive and low fantasized experiences of pain. When the image also plays a key role in contemporary processes of subjectivation as to allow a positive inclusion in the social link. Methods: This article gives an account of the first results of an international research about the tattoos and scarifications in modernity. It allows a new apprehension of the singular functions that the body mark fulfils in the psychic economy for a population of adolescents and young adults who attend conventions and places of body art or also met in care centers. In a psychodynamic orientation, the impact of these modes of body practices on subjectivity is studied with reference to different structures of personality (including borderline personality disorder). In a context where using scales or tests were not possible, we chose to study the “subjective position” (relation with the body, the family system, the sexuality, the law and finally with the consumer society). Three methods of data collection were chosen to correspond to specific objectives: questionnaire (quantitative analysis), research interview (qualitative analysis), extensive research from an online questionnaire (French, Spanish, Portuguese) and blogs on the Internet. Results: In three presentations of cases, this article shows how the uses of body can be the support of a deep “work on oneself” and lead to a subjective solution for some teenagers or young grown ups. Marking the body cannot be reduced to the function of representation or distinction but can also help to integrate some conflicting elements, to restore a psychic homeostasis and to open the possibility of secondary elaborations. It may well have the function to crystallize and register an event or a turning point in personal life. Discussions: This article refutes negative and pathological studies of these body experiments. Above all, the specific use of the body may, in certain circumstances, allow a change of the “subjective position” (relation with the body, the pain, the family system, the sexuality, the law and finally with the consumer society). As part of psychosis or borderline personality disorder, the experience can lead to a deep psychic redevelopment and change bodily perceptions, especially when the body is paradoxically useful for personal limit (subject/social). That is why, nowadays, many young people invest different forms of marking the body, transforming this one into a privileged surface for insignia of the self. Therefore, this contribution is an essential complement to the present psychological and sociological approaches.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, February 6, 2018 - 9:40:02 AM
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Romuald Hamon, Jean-Luc Gaspard, Nelson da Silva Junior, Caroline Doucet. Marques corporelles, tatouages et solutions subjectives à l’adolescence. Neuropsychiatrie de l'Enfance et de l'Adolescence, Elsevier Masson, 2014, 62 (3), pp.168-176. ⟨10.1016/j.neurenf.2014.01.016⟩. ⟨hal-01701422⟩



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