Discussions on Ego Identity

Discussions on Ego Identity

Discussions on Ego Identity

Discussions on Ego Identity

Synopsis

Identity has been a topical issue in both popular and social science literatures for the past forty years. The writings of Erik Erikson on the identity formation process of late adolescence have provided an important theoretical foundation to clinical, counseling, and educational practices. As the literature on adolescent development has burgeoned over the last three decades, so have efforts to understand, more systematically, the means by which young people find their occupational, religious, political, sexual and relational roles in life.

One of the most popular research traditions to spring from Erikson's clinical observations has been the ego identity status approach developed by James Marcia. This approach has expanded Erikson's concept of identity to describe four distinct styles by which adolescents and adults deal with identity-defining issues. The present volume reflects the most recent efforts of social scientists who have contributed further to the work that Erikson and Marcia began -- an exhaustive analysis of the issues inherent in the adolescent identity formation process.

Excerpt

James E. Marcia
Simon Fraser University, British Columbia

Among psychoanalytic theorists, Erik Erikson has given us the broadest view of personality development and the human condition since Freud. Modifying somewhat Freud's essentially tragic view of life, Erikson has added specific stages of ego growth encompassing the whole life cycle. This addition has given new meaning to the goal of psychoanalysis pronounced by its founder: "Where 'it' was, should 'I' become." Within Erikson's theory, the 'it,' the id, that metaphor for drive-dominated behavior, is still assumed to be a motivational fundamental of human development. It is in the realm of the 'I,' the ego, that a significant theoretical expansion has taken place. Even though ego processes are sometimes occupied with infantile, drive-related issues, they are not viewed as being preoccupied with them, at least for most of us, most of the time. The ego has its own course of relatively conflict-free development, an epigenetic sequence of stages, whose resolution is determined both by individual needs and abilities and by societal supports and requirements. This specification of stages of ego growth has allowed us to speak as scientists, not only as practitioners, of such universally acknowledged strengths as trust, autonomy, initiative, industry, identity, intimacy, generativity, and integrity. In addition, Erikson's developmental theory has expanded our view of social institutional practices. Early psychoanalysts saw society as necessary but ultimately individually repressive; contemporaneous psychosocial developmental theory views it as a context that can support and promote ego growth. Erikson's contribution to the extension . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.