Faculté des lettres et sciences humaines

Symbolic Competencies for Developmental Transitions: the Case of the Choice of First Names

Zittoun, Tania

In: Culture & Psychology, 2004, vol. 10, no. 2, p. 131-161

Human life consists of stability interspersed with ruptures. Transitions that follow such ruptures, offer a window on processes of change at the level of skill acquisition, identities, but also meaning construction. The article explores various uses of cultural elements such as books, movies or religious baggage as symbolic resources for such psychological development. It introduces the notion of... Plus

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    Summary
    Human life consists of stability interspersed with ruptures. Transitions that follow such ruptures, offer a window on processes of change at the level of skill acquisition, identities, but also meaning construction. The article explores various uses of cultural elements such as books, movies or religious baggage as symbolic resources for such psychological development. It introduces the notion of interiority to have access to the work of these symbolic resources on emotions. Such uses of symbolic resources are examined through a study of the procedure of choosing first names during the transition to parenthood. The notion of symbolic competencies, as the abilities to use cultural elements as resources for thinking, action and development, is proposed to account for interpersonal differences and is discussed.