Intergenerational, Unconscious, and Embodied: Three Underdeveloped Aspects of Erikson’s Theory of Identity

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Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to highlight three aspects of Erikson's theory of identity that have been left relatively undeveloped. The first is Erikson's embedding identity development in an intergenerational framework. Within this framework, adolescent identity development and adult generativity development are interdependent, and the dynamics of this dyadic interrelationship need to be further researched. The second is the issue of unconscious identity development. I discuss three ways Erikson discussed unconscious identity processes: ‘automatic’, ‘silent’, and ‘sinister’ processes. The third underdeveloped aspect is the body, and the manner in which identity development is theorized as invigorating and vitalizing due to integrating the biological, psychological and social. Attention to each of these issues can serve to broaden our current concept of what identity is, and how it develops.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-324
Number of pages10
JournalIdentity
Volume18
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 Oct 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, © 2018 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

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