Praxis der kinderpsychologie und kinderpsychiatrie vol:48 issue:1 pages:27-36
The way migration is worked through will, be largely influenced by two aspects: the wish for continuity in the personal identity one had build up before migrating, as well as the longing for staying interwoven with the social group and the cultural life world one had left. Only when these wishes for continuity and interwovenness are safeguarded, the loss that migration also has become, can be experienced and mourned. The element of discontinuity inherent in the migration process, then becomes less threatening. Thereby, aspects of "new encountered culture" will become woven into "brought with culture". To describe this process of intercultural encounter in a migrant family, Winnicott's concept of "potential space" or "transitional space" proves to be very apt. We illustrate this with a clinical vignette of a Moroccan family wherein adolescence brings about intergenerational conflicts, shaped by as well as influencing cultural identifies. This article references to some earlier work of LANFRANCHI (1988, 1993) and of LANFRANCHI and MOLINARI (1995) in this journal.