Describe Any One Approach to Identity. Describe How This Approach Can Help to Explain the Identities of People with Disabilities Essay

1119 WordsAug 27, 20135 Pages
Describe any one approach to identity. Discuss how this approach can help to explain the identities of people with disabilities. The psychosocial approach was initiated by Erikson in the 1960s (as cited by Phoenix, 2007). At the heart of the theory is the concept of the ‘core identity’ a strong, unique idea of the self as an individual. The individual identity stands alongside the social group it identifies with and requires positive response from the group to have a strong sense of identity. This is different from individual identity being dictated by membership of the social group (as in the SIT theory proposed by Tajfel and cited by Phoenix 2007). In addition there is an unconscious drive for the definition of self which is assumed in smooth, good times but not when there is fear over survival. Different cultures and historical periods have impact on individual identities and Erikson felt that his period of history was associated with identity crisis as individuals were under threat from two World wars. His own individual history as a Jew with Aryan features also underlies the meaning he found in his clinical work and the conclusions he reached. Although the core identity is constant once realized, there is a life long development around the core to do with what Erikson saw as standard pressures at each stage of life between the needs of the individual and the requirements of the social group. These are ‘normative crises’. Thus in the eight stages of life identified, each has a normative crisis, and the outcome of this crisis is either positive or negative as far as the development of the core identity goes. The most important stage identified is the fifth, that of adolescence. As large decisions need to be made and the adoption of and transition to adult roles negotiated this can be a very frightening time accompanied by identity crisis, where
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