Identity, Youth, and Crisis - Study Guide Chapter 1, Prologue Summary & Analysis

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Since Erikson first started writing about identity crises, the term has become widespread. Luckily it has mostly been used to denote not total psychological breakdown but a turning point, which is closer to the psychologist's conception. Identity crises are focused in particular on adolescence and young adulthood. Erikson is skeptical about applying the concept to nations or religions.

Identity crises are over-diagnosed, in Erikson's view, so he returns to the original concept by focusing on what identity feels like to an individual when she becomes conscious of it. Identity consists in a subjective sense of invigorating sameness and continuity. Identity 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...

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This section contains 879 words
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Buy the Identity, Youth, and Crisis Study Guide
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