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Patrice Huerre, Martine Pagan-Reymond, Jean-Michel Reymond

Adolescence doesn't exist (New Edition)

Childhood, adulthood and old age certainly exist. But does adolescence? Is it a necessary stage, or simply a socio-cultural phenomenon reflecting the many, increasingly visible signs of malaise in our changing world? The concept of adolescence is a fairly recent one in human history. It was unknown in primitive societies. Many highly developed civilisations — Ancient Greece and Rome, as well as medieval and modern France — ignored it. This book highlights the artificial and arbitrary nature of adolescence, which is regarded here as a period between two ages. The authors examine its expressions and metamorphoses throughout history, from Antiquity to our own time, and show that the existence of adolescence has been “staged” and its role defined, either separately or simultaneously, by nature, the State, the family, religion, economics, demographics and ideas about education.


Patrice Huerre is a hospital psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and the medical director of the Clinique Médico-Universitaire Georges-Heuyer, in Paris.

Martine Pagan-Reymond teaches modern languages and literature and holds an agrégation.

Jean-Michel Reymond was formerly in charge of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and is now the medical director of the Centre Médico-Psycho-Pédagogique of Saint-Lô.