- Publisher: WW Norton & Co
- Format: Paperback | 336 pages
- Dimensions: 136mm x 210mm x 20mm | 322g
- Publication date: 25 January 1995
- Publication City/Country: New York
- ISBN 10: 0393311449
- ISBN 13: 9780393311440
- Edition statement: Revised ed.
- Sales rank: 127,543
Identity, Erikson writes, is an unfathomable as it is all-pervasive. It deals with a process that is located both in the core of the individual and in the core of the communal culture. As the culture changes, new kinds of identity questions arise-Erikson comments, for example, on issues of social protest and changing gender roles that were particular to the 1960s. Representing two decades of groundbreaking work, the essays are not so much a systematic formulation of theory as an evolving report that is both clinical and theoretical. The subjects range from "creative confusion" in two famous lives-the dramatist George Bernard Shaw and the philosopher William James-to the connection between individual struggles and social order. "Race and the Wider Identity" and the controversial "Womanhood and the Inner Space" are included in the collection.
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A winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, Erik H. Erikson was renowned worldwide as teacher, clinician, and theorist in the field of psychoanalysis and human development.
Essays in ego psychology, based on papers written from 1951 to 1967, by a noted neo-Freudian analyst and theorist. The topics are resonant and weighty: "theory and ideology," "ego pathology and historical change," "group identity and ego identity" and so forth, in permutations of the concepts which preoccupied Erikson in Young Man Luther, Childhood and Society, and Insight and Responsibility. The essays on totalitarianism and race are of particular interest. The book represents an elaboration of his earlier studies, not a distinct progression: there are no important new approaches or conclusions. Erikson tries to clarify what he calls "the singular and often erratic public appeal which the terms 'identity' and 'identity conflict' have had during the last two decades" - a useful undertaking. As for "history," here it chiefly means life history at different times and places, viewed through the complexity of cultural influences and life-cycle stages which Erikson continues to investigate. The book is no better organized than one would expect in a collection of revamped papers; Erikson's style is still civilized and confident, but perhaps a bit tired. The essays will have limited interest and intelligibility for those not already acquainted with his work. Unlikely to become a classic like Luther, it provides a useful gloss on his other books, and adumbrates key areas for future study. (Kirkus Reviews)
Back cover copy
Identity: Youth and Crisis collects Erik H. Erikson's major essays on topics originating in the concept of the adolescent identity crisis. Identity, Erikson writes, is as unfathomable as it is all-pervasive. It deals with a process that is located both in the core of the individual and in the core of the communal culture. As the culture changes, new kinds of identity questions arise--Erikson comments, for example, on issues of social protest and changing gender roles that were particular to the 1960s.