Distractions from Homework

I came across the following passage while doing some research for an education paper... Something about it really pricked my heart - maybe because there is a fair amount of truth in it for my own life.

He noted that once the delinquent’s aggressive impulses had exhausted themselves, the repressed longing for love and tenderness which he believed remained dormant in these young people began to manifest itself once more. Previously aggressive boys became tearful and more vulnerable, at which point Aichhorn encouraged his staff, each working with a specific group of boys, to take on a more demanding attitude to those in their care. In Aichhorn’s terms, a positive transference – a strong, positive emotional relationship – began to develop with the young person’s worker, who was now in a position to guide the young person to takes the steps in psychic growth that had not occurred in the early years:

“It is above all the tender feeling for the teacher that gives the pupil the incentive to do what is prescribed and not to do what is forbidden. The teacher, as libidinally charged object for the pupil, offers traits for identification that bring about a lasting change in the structure of the ego-ideal.”


While reading the same article, I ended up discovering two interesting versions of manhood in 19th century Britain....

The Flaneur and the Dandy

Here are a few choice quotes from each:

"A dandy is a man who places particular importance upon physical appearance, refined language, and leisurely hobbies, pursued with the appearance of nonchalance in a cult of Self. Historically, especially in late 18th- and early 19th-century Britain, a dandy, who was self-made, often strove to imitate an aristocratic lifestyle despite coming from a middle-class background."

"Charles Baudelaire, in the later, "metaphysical" phase of dandyism defined the dandy as one who elevates æsthetics to a living religion,] that the dandy's mere existence reproaches the responsible citizen of the middle class: "Dandyism in certain respects comes close to spirituality and to stoicism" and "These beings have no other status, but that of cultivating the idea of beauty in their own persons, of satisfying their passions, of feeling and thinking .... Contrary to what many thoughtless people seem to believe, dandyism is not even an excessive delight in clothes and material elegance. For the perfect dandy, these things are no more than the symbol of the aristocratic superiority of his mind.""

"The observer-participant dialectic is evidenced in part by the dandy culture. Highly self-aware, and to a certain degree flamboyant and theatrical, dandies of the mid-nineteenth century created scenes through outrageous acts like walking turtles on leashes down the streets of Paris. Such acts exemplify a flâneur's active participation in and fascination with street life while displaying a critical attitude towards the uniformity, speed, and anonymity of modern life in the city."

"a derived meaning of flâneur—that of "a person who walks the city in order to experience it"."

"Flâneur is not limited to someone committing the physical act of peripatetic stroll, but can also include a "complete philosophical way of living and thinking", and a process of navigating erudition"

"characterized the flâneur as a "gentleman stroller of city streets",he saw the flâneur as having a key role in understanding, participating in and portraying the city. A flâneur thus played a double role in city life and in theory, that is, while remaining a detached observer. This stance, simultaneously part of and apart from, combines sociological, anthropological, literary and historical notions of the relationship between the individual and the greater populace."

I also really like the parallel to modern life

"The flâneur's tendency toward detached but aesthetically attuned observation has brought the term into the literature of photography, particularly street photography. The street photographer is seen as one modern extension of the urban observer described by nineteenth century journalist Victor Fournel before the advent of the hand-held camera:"

And thus, my fate....

"Baudelaire would be torn the rest of his life between the stances of flâneur and dandy, a disengaged and cynical voyeur on the one hand, and man of the people who enters into the life of his subjects with passion on the other"