Psychosocial And Social Constructionist

965 Words4 Pages
"Identity can be understood as our own theory of ourselves, created from many sources" (Phoenix, 2002, p.47). We’ll be looking at identity using the psychosocial and the social constructionist theories and defining the contributions they have made in advancing our knowledge of identity. The Psychosocial Theory was devised by Erik Erikson, a German Psychoanalyst, through clinical and naturalistic observations, biographies of famous people, as well as from his own history. He believed that there is a core identity which is determined by the interaction between mind (psychological), body (genetic programming) and the social environment (shaped by culture and the times lived in). Erikson believed that people need to be viewed consistently over time and that their identity needs us to conform to a groups ideals. There are eight stages of identity development, which start at birth and go on till late adulthood. Identity is considered a state people need to achieve. At each stage is a psychosocial crisis where "...What the child acquires at a given stage is a certain ratio between the positive and negative, which if the balance is toward the positive, will help him to meet later crises with a better chance for unimpaired total development..." (Erikson, 1959) Identity is therefore, in a perpetual process of development involving “a progressive resolution of .. normative crises between individual needs and social demands …” (Phoenix, 2007, p.53). Adolescents, the fifth stage, is crucial in identity development, during which the task is to achieve ego identity (knowing who and what one is and ones place in society), and avoiding role diffusion, (not finding a secure ego identity). During adolescents is when identity crisis, shaped by the social environment, emerges and is the time of “psychosocial moratorium”. James Marcia created a method to
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