Identity in Adolescence: The Balance between Self and Other

Identity in Adolescence: The Balance between Self and Other

Identity in Adolescence: The Balance between Self and Other

Identity in Adolescence: The Balance between Self and Other

Synopsis

Fully updated to include current research and theoretical developments in the field, this third edition of 'Identity in Adolescence' examines the two way interaction of individual and social context in the process of identity formation.

Excerpt

In an age of contextual, narrative, and post-modern influences in psychology, I have sometimes been asked why retain a developmental focus to the question of how identity forms and changes over the time of adolescence. Of course, there are many approaches one might take to understand how adolescents come to construct themselves in a world that is constructing them, and different research emphases have gained and lost favor throughout various historical eras. My retention of a developmental focus in this volume was made for a number of reasons. First, I regard Erik Erikson's theory as one of the earliest examples of developmental contextualism in the study of adolescent identity development. Developmental contextualism is an approach currently popular in developmental psychology. It stresses that understanding developmental change lies neither in the individual alone nor in the social context alone, but rather in an interaction between the two over time (Lerner 1993). Erikson (1968) exemplified this contemporary approach, as he examined ways in which individual biological processes, psychological needs, defenses and desires interact with the demands, expectations and responses of a social context to create change in both the individual and society over time. Additionally, each of the five developmental models reviewed in the pages ahead has generated a wealth of empirical literature since the second edition of this volume was produced, raising a number of fascinating, new questions. Furthermore, the five models have also now been examined in a multitude of cultural and/or social contexts, and these investigations provide valuable new insights into how development and context interact to affect the course of the identity formation process over and beyond the years of adolescence.

A further purpose of this volume is to highlight the time of adolescence in selected theories of self, ego and identity development. When I wrote the first edition of Identity in Adolescence, published in

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