Erikson's Theory Of Identity Essay

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Identity may refer to the unchanging characteristics of behaviour (Ewan, 2003). Psychologists argue that identity is initiated within individuals, and one’s identity may exist in the non-existence of others and it may have some invisible features (ibid). Some theorists claim that only the explicit behaviours can help in analysing one’s identity. Whereas, the majority of psychologists argue that identity may involve almost everything about the individual and his/her thoughts, emotions, and social and physical impulses (ibid.). According to Snow (2010), personality is divided into two parts; outer world, which consists of all the explicit behaviours which are shared with others, and inner world which is inconspicuous such as thoughts, dreams,…show more content…
Erikson argues that the “Ego” introduces the individual whole personality more than the “Id” though it is divided into two parts, one is conscious and the other is unconscious (Fleming, 2004). He claims that even though the Ego plays the role of guardsman in arresting the “Id” illicit impulses and the “Superego” serves, the “Ego” has its independent life (ibid.). Erikson proposed a theory of psychological and identity development that he called “Psychosocial Development”, which emphasizes how individual’s interactions with others influence the development of his/her identity. Erikson’s theory focuses on different stages in one’s life and the relationship that people have with other people in each stage from infancy through old age. Each stage in this theory contains what Erikson terms a “crisis”, this crisis consists of interactions with others and through that interaction certain attributes and virtues are developed. Erikson was interested in Freud’s concept of fixation, but he used different concepts and principles in introducing the stages of identity development. In contrast with Freud, Erikson emphasizes that the development of personality is not limited. Instead, it is continuous throughout the whole individual’s life (Ewan, 2003). As Fleming (2004)
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