Resilience Essay

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The role of resilience in development within gangsterism amongst the youth of South Africa This essay is going to focus on the role of resilience amongst the youth involved with gangs in South Africa and how Erik Erikson’s theory of lifespan development can be applied to them. I will also touch on the strengths and weaknesses of his theory and how other theorists like Sir Sigmund Freud echoed this theory in their fields of focus. According to Coon and Mitterer, Erik Erikson’s theory of lifespan development emphasises that an individual reached optimal development once they have mastered developmental tasks that are present in all the eight stages of development. These tasks, referred to as psychosocial dilemma, come with every stage in life. Our aim as humans is to resolve these dilemmas in order to strike a balance between our demands as individuals and societal demands (2012). This theory echoes Freud’s work on consciousness and culture, with the first five stages mimicking his psychosexual development. Freud stated that conscious memories within the mind of an abused child echo within their choice of culture, or how they carry themselves in society (Coon and Mitterer., 2012). Gangsterism is a youth-at-risk which is a very big problem in South Africa. Gangsterism is the use of tactics such as intimidation or violence which is used by gangsters to curbs their urges of power. It started out in the 1950s as a political form of rebellion and still holds its strength due to the social context within which South Africans live today in townships. Most gangsters come from broken, often abusive families and poor backgrounds in townships characterised by limited economic activity, poor sanitation, inadequate infrastructure, poor education, high rates of illiteracy and unemployment, whereby they lack the necessary warmth, love and attention from their families. These

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