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Crisis of Identity - Essay Example

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The term 'identity crisis' is considered to be the most important conflict which human beings encounter when they go through eight developmental stages in life. As Erik Erikson, the psychologist who coined the term identity crisis, quotes:
"The identity is a subjective sense as well as an observable quality of personal sameness and continuity, paired with some belief in the sameness and continuity of some shared world image…
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Crisis of Identity
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Download file to see previous pages (Erikson, 1970).
can gain a more intellectual and critical understanding on the issue of identity crisis. The aim of this paper is to discuss all of this, as well as any and all other key elements and factors in regards to this subject matter. This is what will be dissertated in the following.
Identity is literally defined as "The set of behavioral or personal characteristics by which an individual is recognizable as a member of a group," and "The distinct personality of an individual regarded as a persisting entity; individuality." (Dictionary, 2006). The term identity is an umbrella term which is used throughout the social science's for an individual's comprehension of him or herself as a discrete, separate entity. "In cognitive psychology, for example, 'identity' refers to the capacity for self-reflection and the awareness of self." (Wikipedia, 2006).
It is developmental psychologist Erik H. Erikson (1902-1994) who was best known for his theory on the social development of human beings, as well as for coining the term 'identity crisis'. ...
What is a Crisis of Identity
It is developmental psychologist Erik H. Erikson (1902-1994) who was best known for his theory on the social development of human beings, as well as for coining the term 'identity crisis'. His theory of the social development on human beings in regards to identity crisis describes eight stages through which a healthily developing human should pass from infancy to late adulthood. The stages discuss the ages from 0-50+, each stage with a different set of characteristics including: psychological crisis, significant relations, psychosocial modalities, psychosocial virtues, and maladaptations malignancies.
The information in relation to this is as follows:
(0.1 / infant) -
Psychosocial crisis: Trust vs mistrust
Significant relations: Mother
Psychosocial modalities: To get, to give in return
Psychosocial virtues: Hope, faith
Maladaptations malignancies: Sensory distortion, withdrawl
This first stage (stage 1) considers approximately the first year or two of life, and the task involved in this area is to be able to develop trust without completely eliminating the capacity for mistrust. "If mom and dad can give the newborn a degree of familiarity, consistency, and continuity, then the child will develop the feeling that the world - especially the social world - is a safe place to be, that people are reliable and loving." (Boeree, 2006). Hitherto, if the proper balance is achieved, the child will develop the virtue of hope, and the strong belief that, even when things are not going well, they will always work out for the better in the end.
(2-3 / toddler) -
Psychosocial crisis: Autonomy vs shame and doubt
Significant ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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