Identity, Youth, and Crisis - Study Guide Chapter 3, The Life Cycle, Epigenesis of Identity Summary & Analysis

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Understanding identity requires understanding its development over the lifecycle. Erikson sees the identity crisis as an intrinsic part of maturation and divides distinct periods of identity formation in terms of identity crises and how the individual copes with them. Each period has both an inner and outer conflict from which an individual can emerge with a stronger or weaker identity. A healthy personality is one that actively masters the environment, shows personality uniqueness and can know reality. The identity lifecycle is somewhat adapted from biology. Personality develops through predetermined steps to interact with a widening range of important individuals and institutions. Each successive crisis involves a radical change of perspective, a turning point.

The first stage occurs in infancy and involves the mutuality of recognition. It opposes trust and mistrust. Children quickly learn...

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This section contains 904 words
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