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Identity: Youth and Crisis collects Erik H. Erikson's major essays on topics originating in the concept of the adolescent identity crisis.
Identity, Erikson writes, is an unfathomable as it is all-pervasive. It deals with a process that is located both in the core of the individual and in the core of the communal culture. As the culture changes, new kinds of identity questions arise—Erikson comments, for example, on issues of social protest and changing gender roles that were particular to the 1960s.
Representing two decades of groundbreaking work, the essays are not so much a systematic formulation of theory as an evolving report that is both clinical and theoretical. The subjects range from "creative confusion" in two famous lives—the dramatist George Bernard Shaw and the philosopher William James—to the connection between individual struggles and social order. "Race and the Wider Identity" and the controversial "Womanhood and the Inner Space" are included in the collection.
Posted January 12, 2011
This was an eye opening read for me as an undergraduate student of psychology. Erikson so clearly lays out identity development through out the life cycle and then concisely explains why crisis during identity development can lead to mental illness, personality disorders and other such negative affects. His assertion that everyone must pass successfully through the stages is an underpinning of abnormal psychology. A great read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.