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Childhood and Society Paperback – September 17, 1993

4.4 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A rare and living combination of European and American thought in the human sciences" -- Margaret Mead "A unique combination of imaginative clinical description, rigorous thinking, gentle humour and deep humanity" Science "The application of psychoanalysis to the field of cultural anthropology has nowhere found a more mature expression" Archives of Neurology and Psychiatry --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

Childhood and Society deals with the relationships between childhood training and cultural accomplishment, analyzing the infantile and the mature, the modern and the archaic elements in human motivation. It was hailed upon its first publication as 'a rare and living combination of European and American thought in the human sciences' (Margaret Mead, The American Scholar). Translated into numerous foreign languages, it has gone on to become a classic in the study of the social significance of childhood.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 445 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Reissue edition (September 17, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039331068X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393310689
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #112,816 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book published in 1950 was Erikson's breakthrough book, the first one by which he became known to a wide popular audience. Certain of the ideas formulated in this book have become part of the language of our general culture, most notably the concept of 'identity- crisis'.

At the heart of the theoretical framework of this work is Erikson's conception of eight- stages of life.

The first of these stages he calls the 'oral- sensory'.It involves the conflict between basic trust and mistrust.

The second is called the muscular- anal involving the confluct between Autonomy and Shame and Doubt.

The third is the Locomotor Genital involving the conflict between Initiative and Guilt.

The fourth is the Latent involving the conflict between Industry and Inferiority.

The fifth is Adolescence where the Identity- Crisis comes into play at a time of Role- confusion.

The sixth is Young Adulthood in which Intimacy is in conflict with Isolation.

The seventh is Adulthood where Generativity conflicts with Stagnation.

The final is 'Maturity' or "Old Age' where Despair threatens Ego Integrity.

In this work Erikson brings case - history, comparitive anthropological data in showing how the human personality is transformed during the person's lifetime also through its encounters with Society . A pioneering work of great importance.
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Format: Paperback
Read it just because it's a classic or read it because it has interesting things to say for today. Read it because it's so well written. The narrative just flows, and before you know it you've absorbed some pretty important concepts.
Erikson addresses nothing less than the role of psychology in the world, and the role of childhood in our social worlds. It's a combination of the clinical, the social, and the developmental, a combination of psychology and history. Case studies are presented and large themes are addressed.
"...we are also forced to recognize a universal blind spot in the makers and interpreters of history," writes Erikson, "... they ignore the fateful function of childhood in the fabric of society" (p. 404).
Whether or not you agree with all Erikson says, you will find it food for thought.
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Mr. Erikson wrote a thought-provoking book, but it is certainly a product of his times. Such notions as homosexuality being deviant (his word, not mine) behavior and was more of a symptom of a psychologically damaged individual has not held up to present scientific evidence. Overall, the book is a fascinating dissection of childhood development and how it possibly manifests itself in adulthood. But reading this material wasn't exactly a cake walk. I doubt many casual readers could wade through Mr. Erikson's book without developing MEGO (My Eyes Glaze Over) Syndrome. For what it's worth, I enjoyed most of it.
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This book makes Erikson theory much easier to understand. Second-hand accounts of his theory really muddy the water. His theories and explanations of crisis stages are logical and easy to observe after reading this book.
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Prof. Erikson coined the phrase "identity crisis" and stands among the giants in child psychology and human development. His work is essential reading. Dr. Gary K
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Childhood and Society, in its first edition, was Erik H. Erikson's first book. The second edition, which I read pieces of for a project, incorporates more of the ideas he had after some significant historical events took place. Erikson heavily considers context and culture in the development of the ego or identity, which is the main focus of this book. It also has his own description of the Eight Stages of Man for which he is famous. Erikson's writing is at times vague and hard to follow, but this book is a must read for anyone wanting to understand more completely Erikson's earlier theories.
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Childhood and Society reveals the relationship of the child and the Society we live in. To some degree, society has been formed by Children. When do we say that we are adults? Is it age by years or years by Intellect? How may people have been raised by other children because mom and dad were working? We are getting a society of Adult Children. Read Childhood and Society for answers to why we think the way we do...
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Childhood and Society guides its readers far deep into children's mind and its pychological intricacies. Using study of cases carefully chosen and great psychoanalytical knowlege, Erikson, with his long experience, enlight us, making easy to undertand some of the most complicated concepts in Freud's theory.It's sure a worth reading work.
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