Comparing Erikson's Theories And Analysis

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Originally, when describing lifelong development, the term life cycle was commonly adopted (Green, 2017). By definition, the life cycle suggests that all individual's pass through the same biological stages from birth through to old age. Today, however, this term is criticised as it suggests that human development transpires through a fixed and linear pattern; of which is seldom the case (Giddens and Sutton, 2017). Therefore, from a social work perspective, the term life course is now preferred (Walker and Crawford, 2014). Unlike the life cycle, which emphasises biological factors, the life course is broader and more sociological in its definition. It recognises that an individual's biological and cognitive development exists within specific …show more content…

His theory of psychosocial personality development, known today as the Eight Ages of Man, is based on the work of Sigmund Freud and his theory of psychosexual development (Salkind, 2004). As a neo-psychoanalyst, Erikson, in many ways agreed with Freud, however, his work extended Freud's original ideas in three important ways (Green and Piel, 2016). First, Freud argued that an individual's personality was fully formed by the age of five, and then subsequently remained fixed. Erikson, however, argued that personality development was a continuous process, which moved sequentially through eight distinct stages throughout one's life (Salkind, 2004). Also, where Freud's theory placed greater emphasis on the id to the development of one's personality, Erikson's work was more concerned with the …show more content…

According to Erikson, each crisis requires resolution of two opposing polarities, which the individual must overcome to progress on to the next developmental stage (Greene, 2008a). The consequence of each crisis, therefore, can be understood as the driving force that helps shape an individual's unique personality; providing the necessary skills, or lack of, to resolve further developmental crises (Greene, 2008a). For Erikson, however, the desirable outcome of each crisis is not biased towards one particular side, but rather an equilibrium between the two (Schultz and Schultz, 2017). Erikson argued that by achieving a healthy balance, individuals will develop a positive ego trait, known as a basic strength, or virtue, which would enable successive future development. In contrast, however, Erikson saw an unbalanced outcome as disproportionally made up of either pole, which in turn could result in the development of a core pathology, and thus negatively impact upon future development (Schultz and Schultz,

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