Issue n° 46

Opening, Sylvie Cadolle (Paris 5 University)

Moral chronicle : « Family » in the F. Buisson’s Dictionary of Pedagogy and Primary Instruction, Ferdinand Buisson

In the 1911 edition of the Dictionary of Pedagogy and Primary Instruction of Ferdinand Buisson, the article on the « Family » largely mirrors that drawn in the edition of 1887 by Felix Pécaut. After recalling that real education is that offered by the family which is its the place and natural foundation, he develops three points: the complementary roles of school and family education; the irreplaceable role of the teacher; the problem of the removal of religious instruction in schools – to define what he calls « the true theory of the relationship between school life and home life ». He particularly emphasizes that the teacher needs the support and trust of family fully to undertake his task – certainly in the late 1880s, it was a major challenge faced by public schools. Also the 1911 edition presents the progress that has been made ​​in this regard.

Notion : Youth, Nathalie Dupont (Caen University)

Providing a definition of youth currently requires ambivalent terms and increasingly complex markers. Should we talk of youths or of groups of youth? of their biological or cultural dimensions? Should we understand it as a generational group, social group, ethnic or gendered group? Youth corresponds to a social organisation of life that marks the transition from childhood to adulthood. Reflecting on youth means asking questions regarding social, cultural and psychological constructions, regarding dissolution and transformation of juvenile identities, but it also raises political issues of life stories lived between and dependence and autonomy or independence. It further involves identifying the cultural markers of « youth » and the roles of one or more « generations » in this passage between childhood and adulthood. It remains a matter of trying to understand the rituals and choice of paths.

Report: Families

Presentation, Julie Delalande (Caen University) and Léandro de Lajonquière (Caen University)

Contemporary family narratives and the child-symptom: Whose are the children of today?, Léandro de Lajonquière (Caen University) and Marcelo Ricardo Pereira (Brasil)

« New » forms of the family are very successful and their designations are increasing: single, gay or lesbian, etc. In contribution to this debate, this paper presents four methods of family configuration of non-Western peoples and their arrangements for symbolic attachments in order to analyse our own « family narratives », our own fantasies of the « family » to answer the question: to whom belong the sons of today? « Today » is not simply a marker of time but above all a category of analysis that aims to transform our traditional notion of family structure and a decline in the « social image of the pater familias. Reconstituted or redesigned, today we still want « the family ». Why? Maybe it is because we have not been able to design another institution that guarantees the irreducibility of psychic transmission. The authors then conclude with three consequences of the uncertainties of attachment: the widespread desire for « family », the issues for children in blended families and the emergence of a truly contemporary phenomenon: the child-symptom.

The « democratisation » of family relationships, a many sided process that is difficult to regulate, Gérard Neyrand (Toulouse 3 University)

The process of « democratisation » of the family that emerged in the late 1960s is not clear-cut. Based on a set of values ​​embodied in the eighteenth century of the philosophers of the Enlightenment and on social changes on multiple levels and different times, it took nearly two centuries to make itself felt, encountering much resistance at all levels, based on a naturalistic conception of the family and society. But the shift that took place in the 1970s seems irreversible, despite the violence of social debates that it has prompted. Today relations outside of marriage, and more generally the relationship between adults, under the principle of mutual consent, are strengthening parental relationships, as reflected in the constitution of a genuine system of social parenthood at the turn the twenty-first century. The contradictions and inconsistencies of this democratisation of the family are becoming obvious and parentalist social management is struggling to cope with it. This article attempts to highlight the doubts and paradoxes of the issue.

The family at risk of mental illness and school dropout, Cristina Figueiredo (Paris 5 University)

The author examines the case of « withdrawal » academically and socially in France, and its consequences on family configurations for young people who are often diagnosed school or generally socially phobic or depressed. On arriving at the door of the school or college, a child suffers from stomach aches or headaches forcing him to turn back, the family has to try to understand the somatic symptoms and justify these to the institution and peers. Several questions arise then: is the school responsible? How much of responsibility is the family’s? What will happen when children are temporarily out of school? How is this withdrawal from the « ordinary » world perceived and lived in the family? How are families then brought to reorganise their entire functioning around this situation? This leads to problematising « normal » family functioning and the child-student in his relationship to socialisation and learning.

The relationship between children and adults in medieval families, Didier Lett (Paris 7 University)

Already in the Middle Ages, the family was predominantly a small unit, bringing together more often under one roof, a couple and children. Sometimes, however, on account of accidents, family structure had to show openness to other adult members or orphans. The children were loved and educated with care by their father and their mother and sometimes by other adults in the family (nurse, big brother or sister, etc.) or outside of it. It also happened sometimes that parent-child relationships were in conflict at various times in the « family narrative ».

The contemporary presence of the male in the perinatal area : a changed family dynamic, Marie-Laure Abecassis (Paris 13 University) and Eric Bidaud (Paris 13 University)

Until recently, the paternal and maternal positions were clearly distinguished. It now appears that it is the child as an object of wish fulfilment that is redefining the contours of a family configuration that has become protean. If for thousands of years, men have been kept out of the perinatal stage, they are increasingly required to occupy this sphere as well as their partners. Most notbaly this includes the moment when the ultrasound offers the « imaged » illusion of being in the presence of the foetus in the mother’s body. Based on clinical practice, it is a matter of examining the effects at the psychic level of these transformations in the relational dynamics of the triad father-mother-child.

From the homeless man’s to the father without a home: gender tensions in social intervention, Séverine Mayol (Paris 5 University)

From interviews with professionals and recipients of emergency housing arrangements, the author proposes to consider the representations on the place of fatherhood in the lives of homeless men. Why does the parental status of homeless men not feature in the arrangements for them as it does for mothers? Is fatherhood invisible or hidden? How can this failure to be explained? This reflection allows us to grasp some of the social changes regarding roles and gender relations in society. Indeed, tensions arise between the worldviews of men who are given accommodation and the reality of the arrangements. The discourse of social workers reflects the negotiations and resistances between contemporary gender norms and traditional gender norms.

Domestic space in working class families: the child seen actor in the family group, Bernadette Tillard (Lille 1 University)

As highlighted by Esther Godoy, one of the responsibilities that falls to parents is to see that their children are fed daily and to oversee their learning and to support their education. Poor housing and the low income of working class families have an influence on how to organise family life. The child is asked to participate in domestic life, both in respect of performing household chores and in looking after the youngest. We note in our different areas of research with working class families from northern France some special features regarding the education of children and the implications of this for the status of the child in the family.

Freedom and power: the role of gender equality in the family, Gabriella Radica

How can freedom within families be defended? This liberal goal is even more difficult to achieve, it includes both the protection of each family against external pressures, and freedom of each member. Now the second part of the goal involves a struggle against inequality within families (between spouses, parents and children) and therefore a political, legal or judicial action that may turn against the freedom it is supposed to defend. If Locke and Kant wish to promote the freedom of members of the family by legal equality, feminists have shown that this formal equality conspires against women’s freedom; that is why the liberal philosophers and feminists, Susan Moller Okin and Martha Nussbaum, seek comprehensive policy responses to make the equal freedom of family members a reality.

Studies : Valuation et evaluation in the thought of Dewey, Eirick Prairat (University of Lorraine)

After introducing Dewey’s concept of valuation, the author offers a critical reflection on the question of values ​​in education. The text is divided into four parts. The first presents the conception advocated by Dewey and outlines the broad perspectives that he rejects (emotivism and classical realism). The second describes the process of valuation, staying closer to the thinking of Dewey to reconstitute its thrust and arguments. The third part, entitled « return to Hume’s law », aims to demonstrate in another way the originality of Dewey’s thought showing notably his opposition to his contemporaries. The fourth and final part is more forward-looking, where the author tries to draw some lessons or how to understand educational reality after Dewey.

Studies : The controversial youth of Makarenko: emergence the myth?, Jean Rakovitch

Since the 50s, the figure of Anton S. Makarenko was the victim of political as well as ideological manipulation. Of all the periods of the life of this Soviet pedagogue, his youth is by far the least known and it provides fantasies, offering an ideal place to develop « a Makarenko myth ». A single but multi-faceted myth. Sources, yet unpublished in French, drive this research. There range from hagiographic official monographs, written by Soviet writers, to the uncompromisingly bitter memories of Makarenko’s brother published by scholars from the University of of Marburg. These offer two contrasting two portraits of the young Makarenko. So which of these two portraits is the more plausible? By exploring this question, the authors propose to consider more broadly the very possibility of writing a biography of Anton S. Makarenko.