Identity, Youth, and Crisis Chapter Abstracts for Teachers

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Chapter 1, Prologue

• The term "identity crisis" denotes a turning point rather than a psychological crisis or breakdown.

• Erikson states that Identity crises are typically focused in particular on adolescence and young adulthood.

• The original concept of Erikson's theory focuses on what identity feels like to an individual when she becomes conscious of it.

• According to Erikson's theory, identity consists in a subjective sense of invigorating sameness and continuity and exists within an individual's core but also in his community's core.

• Identity formation involves a process of reflection and observation that works on all levels of functioning.

• Within this process, the individual compares judgments he makes of himself to judgments made about him by others.

• According to Erikson, the process is always changing and developing.

• The traditional psychoanalytic method, as proposed by Freud, cannot grasp identity because it cannot integrate the environment.

• Erikson felt that human identity can change...

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