Erik Erikson 's Theory Of Identity Essay

Erik Erikson 's Theory Of Identity Essay

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Erik Erikson was the man who originated the term “Identity crisis”. Erikson thought that his work was an extension of Freud’s and that if Freud had been given the time, then he would have come up with the same psychoanalysis theories that Erikson did. The major life developments of Erik Erikson that influenced his personality include things such as not having his father around from birth and thinking that his mother’s husband was his biological father and then finding out that the man was not his father, which caused confusion for Erikson. This is what prompted him to be interested in identity. When he entered school and the community, he was not sure how he fit in so he decided to study the aspects of identity. Erikson was bullied because of his Jewish heritage and teased because of his looks. He was a tall good looking kid and unlike the other children, he possessed a unique way of looking at others. His experiences early on brought forth a need to understand identity in a more in-depth manner. (Feist & Feist,2008). Cultural influences for Erikson included that of his travels during the late adolescent years being a wandering poet and artist and the fantasy of his biological father, which was on his mind every day. He spent his days wandering around in the crowds and at night slept under the bridges. When he returned home from wandering he became committed to his work and even worked with Anna Freud, who is Sigmund Freud’s child whom also became a psychoanalyst and has analyzed Erikson (Feist & Feist,2008).
According to Freud’s theory people are motivated by drives of which they have no knowledge of (Feist & Feist,2008). Believing that the unconscious mind drives the way we think, act and speak. So even though we are knowledgea...


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...may never have met his biological father and having the fantasies can lead to expectations of himself that he may never be able to uphold. Erikson felt that development functions on the principles of epigenetics (Boerre,2006). In that he says that if a stage is interrupted it will ruin the chances of the stage fully developing, losing a sense of self and missing the opportunities that come with each stage. I agree, and that Erikson was right in this respect. If a baby does not reach his milestones according to schedule, we look into possible delays and disabilities. So it wouldn’t be any different if in the later stages of life, when one misses milestones that we would do the same and try to bring about that stage so that it can be surpassed and conquered than move on to the next stage. I think the theories explained here fit Erikson’s personality in their entirety.

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