Personal Journal as Transitional Object: Self and Others in Private Pages

By Nectaria Karagiozis.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper explores and elaborates on issues related to the use of language and journaling as a tool for young female adolescents to gain a clearer sense of self, to differentiate from others, to communicate and to become aware of their socially constructed identities. Their cultural and historical formation, in relation to the specific variables of their interactions with the world, shapes their engagements and the expression of ‘inner’ lives. This paper investigates how adolescent girls use their private writing engagements as means to delve into the quest of their identity search. Issues related to the understanding of aspects of language, inner-speech, self-expression, and power relationships are of importance and discussed. Furthermore, borrowing from Winnicott’s psychoanalytic concepts pertaining to the importance of the psychic uses of the first possessions of the child, it is argued that young girls use the journal as a not-me possession, as a Transitional Object and through their omnipotent relationship with the journal they commence their engagements and relationship with the external world. The use of the journal as transitional object is discussed as typifying a phase in girls’ social, psychical and emotional development, as a secure sphere in which experience of self is not challenged or threatened and as a defense against difficult realities.

Keywords: Gender, Self, Identity, Transitional Object, Self-representation, Journal Writing, Psychoanalysis

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 4, Issue 8, pp.213-224. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.221MB).

Dr. Nectaria Karagiozis

Visiting Professor, Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Dr. Nectaria Karagiozis, is Visiting Professor at University of Ottawa, Faculty of Education, Canada. She has been interested in issues of reading in relation to identity formation of second language young-aged learners as part of her Master studies. The focus of her Ph.D. research is on the effects of written language representations on the self. More specifically, she is interested in the ways in which the process of socialization and subjectivization takes place and how young women use private writing to defend, to symbolize and to create themselves as females and occupants of gendered identity positions.


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