The theory of the Detour
A theory of relativity in psychology


Theory of the Detour
by Michel Cariou


Glossary of notions and concepts of the theory of detour

Translated from French by Besma Barkallah - July 2013
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Hobby activity by Michel CARIOU - November 2008

Lastly, there exists a form of the integrated activity which does not take part at all of the adaptation. This form, I would call it pastime activity (borrowing the term from Bern, and modifying it slightly (Bern, 1966 [1964]).

Because, especially starting from adolescence and at the adulthood, it is necessary to distinguish the integrated activity and the adaptive activity. That is due to the fact that the activity of the adult is organised compared to mentalized and hierarchical social objectives, on a very abstract level. It returns to them to integrate temporality in order to finalise the projects which result from this. But, the power of the formal thought makes possible the definition of a virtual adaptive universe which can be substituted, in the field of the reflexive conscience, in the real circle related on the world and the other concrete ones.

The integrated activity is the bond between the organisation and the medium and thus depends on the level of development of the structure (and of the relative circle which it is able to apprehend).

If this one were correctly worked out during the development, it will be well adapted to a relative circle e in conformity with the real adaptive interests of the organism. There will be then, adequacy between the adaptive activity and the integrated activity. The individual will aim, in time, of the objectives having a statutory value and, will walk on with the others, until the success. He will be able, then, to interiorise them. This transformation is realised by the successive internalization of the intermediate objectives and their confirmation by the final success.

On the other hand, if the activity emanates from a immature psychological structure (adolescence) or deprived, while remaining integrated activity (since it corresponding at the integrated level of the structure), it can be only very partially adaptive (even unsuited), its finality being less in the evolution than in the protection of the structural integration to which the individual arrived.

Immaturity results especially, by the incapacity to aim at realistic social objectives, (relation between the reality of the person and the reality of the objective), and, therefore, in impossibility of concentrate vital energy in authentic projects. This one can then be inhibited (asthenia), somatized or be expressed by primitive forms of emotions (delinquency, violence, sex,…).

The elaborated deficiencies refer to internalizations either contradictory with the current integration of the structure (intra-psychic conflicts), or insufficient to ensure the basic safety of the individual. The risk of adaptive shift is then always present and the fight against the anguish always necessary. Permanent confusion, between Ego and the reflexive conscience that we have some allows our cognitive functions to erect scaffolding, always, of the explanations which make it possible to avoid blaming our structural operation..

Hobby activity is characterised by the fact that it uses antagonism action/emotion, to counter negative emotional emergences but, as its name states it, it does not fit in temporality. It can resemble a project but, actually, there is no real adaptive objective, and it is thus constantly to renew, locked up in a circular temporality.

Concretely, this activity can relate to anything, of most complexes with most elementary. It is in a way, a “trompe l’oeil” which, under cover to do something, actually allows the person anything to make in the order of the adaptation to the circle. In any case, hobby activity takes a compulsive form which shows well its internal origin and its character alienating for the subject.

Work is a traditional support of hobby activity and the excessive investment, the incapacity to live spare-time activities or emotional relations, will find easy rationalisations in the serious and tiring character of the activity. But that is a delusion because, in this case, the real socials benefits are often poor and the personals benefits (in term of positive internalization) non-existent. It is always necessary to aim higher and to start again.

The spare-time activities are also a convenient medium, because they make it possible to attach hobby activity to one supposed desire of the subject. It is particularly the case of sports activities which can, all at the same time, to say itself in terms of personal choice of the subject (by taste) and in terms of hygiene of life (socially developed). Moreover, the necessarily repetitive aspect of this type of activity makes it possible to mask compulsive characteristic. For all that, the person will not obtain the regeneration that the spare-time activity gets. At the most she will arrive, and not always (because we always can do better), to appease her hyper tonicity and, therefore, her anguish.

In fact, any spare-time activity can function like hobby activity: artistic activities (musical, literary, plastic…), festive, virtual (currently particularly developed on Internet). Anyway, beyond the conscious pretexts that it is given, it does not bring anything in the relationship’s management between organism/circle.

On a more elementary level, hobby activity can take the form of an excessive preoccupation of arrangement (office, house) or with a maintenance of the plants, garden. But it can be, even more simply, the compulsive gesture of the smoker, the need to count in its head, or the ambulation of the patient.

Anyway the virtues of the proper action to contain emotional emergence (distresses) are the true reason for the activity.

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