From deliberate choice to forced acceptation: the recourse of parents to health professionals in time of crisis
Le Pape, Marie-Clémence
Observatoire Sociologique du Changement - OSC Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris France,
When a teenager endangers his life, taking risks that threaten his physical and mental integrity, parents are incredulous and helpless at first. Then comes what parents themselves often describe as the time of reaction. Among the resources mobilised in this time of reaction, parents usually turn to their family network and friends, but also to specialists. Based on 24 monographs, and using the discourses of both parents and children (a total of 94 semi-directive interviews) this analysis seeks to study how parents delegate part of their educational prerogatives to tiers, and more specifically to health professionals. Meeting with a health professional is rarely the consequence of the teenager´s asking, and this option is diversely apprehended by the parents. Three different conceptions of this option can be identified: delegation, cooperation and resistance. The identification of these three conceptions underlines social clivages which reveal heterogeneous values and educational practices in contemporary France.