Dse212 Tma1 Essay

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Summarise two theories of identity and compare their usefulness for explaining the real world issues discussed in chapter 1. Part 1 This essay will focus on two theories of identity, namely psychosocial theory and constructionist theory. In addition to summarising these individual theories, the essay will focus on comparing and contrasting their usefulness in explaining some of the issues referred to in chapter 1 in the course material (Mapping psychology, DSE212) with a particular example of disability issues. While focusing on two theories only, it is recognised that neither of these or indeed the social identity theory are exclusive ways of explaining identity. It is recognised from the outset that all three theories mentioned are interlinked and valid ways of adding to our knowledge of identities and diversities. Psychosocial Theory This theory as promoted by Erikson (as cited in Phoenix, 2007, p.54) acknowledges both the psychological and social influences in the process of identity formation. Erikson focuses on particular lifetime developmental stages from birth to late adulthood and suggests that adolescence is the crucial period in the identity process. He believed that adolescence is a time when several life decisions have to be faced. For example becoming independent from parents, education, finding employment and developing personal relationships. For Erikson, successful transition through the adolescent stage resulted in ego identity, a feeling of security of what and who the individual is. Erikson’s theory suggests that for different individuals, in differing psychological and social circumstances, the achievement of identity is not always a smooth process. He defined further stages of the process identity achievement including psychosocial moratorium which refers to a period where young people can try out different roles before adopting a

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