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Erik Erikson Essay

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Below is an essay on "Erik Erikson" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

In this assignment, we were given the task of discussing Erik Erikson’s theory on psychosocial development and relate it in a South African context.
Erik Erikson is a psychologist that studied under the influence of Sigmund Freud and he was really into the idea of unconscious conflict. He focused on children’s development in society across their entire lifespan and on a social level whereas Freud focused more on the biological and sexual stages of development that was said to have ended at the adolescent stage. He’s theory of development has been divided into eight stages which will be discussed.

Erikson’s theory of development focuses on psychological and social aspects of development. He divided he’s theory into eight stages, each stage facing a crisis or a challenge that needed to be overcome. The crisis or challenge forces the individual to adjust according to the two poles that oppose one another. The crisis or challenge brings about an interaction between the individual and society in the aim that the individual learn from the experience and takes on possible standards set by society. There is a solution with each crisis and that is the synthesis between the two opposing poles. Each stage has positive pole and a negative pole and possible synthesis (solution) to the crisis.

The eight stages are as follows:

1. Basic trust vs. Mistrust (hope)
This stage is established in the infants first year of life and the goal is to be acquainted with the surroundings. If this is not achieved the infant will, as a result, experience mistrust.



2. Autonomy vs. Shame, Doubt (willpower)
This stage takes place in the child’s second year of life and the task is to develop a feeling of autonomy/independence while avoiding and overcoming feelings of shame or doubt. Maturing physically is autonomy but with more regards to social rules. Erikson encourages parents to promote independent behaviour and be sympathetically when the child fails.

3. Initiative vs....

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