Identity, Youth, and Crisis - Study Guide Chapter 2, Foundations in Observation Summary & Analysis

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All too often psychologists treat social dynamics and the effects of external social elements like ethnicity and historical era on identity as 'surface' effects. Erikson objects on the grounds such a focus prevents synthesis with the social sciences. Chapter 2 includes some observations that try to bridge the gap.

After a brief discussion of Freud, Erikson explains how an identity can be frustrated and disintegrated when its role in a group is changed. He and a colleague observed this phenomenon in the personalities of Sioux Indians being reeducated by American civil servants. Their egos were frustrated because they could not integrate steps towards a tangible future for their social group. Erikson calls an 'ego identity' the psychological aspect of a person that integrates steps towards a goal within a particular social reality. While personal identity concerns a conscious feeling, ego...

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This section contains 857 words
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