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Identity: Youth and Crisis Paperback – April 1, 1968


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About the Author

A winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, Erik H. Erikson was renowned worldwide as teacher, clinician, and theorist in the field of psychoanalysis and human development.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (April 1, 1968)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393097862
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393097863
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 0.7 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,327,641 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Rocco B. Rubino on July 7, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Admittedly, Erik Erikson is not an easy read (in fact his biographer Lawrence Friedman speculates what Erikson could have become had he been a more disciplined researcher, and writer.) Nevertheless this book provides keen insight into the phenomenon of the adolescent identity crisis.
"Crisis" in Eriksonian parlance is not used to connote an "impending catastrophe," but rather a "necessary turning point, a crucial moment, when development must move one way or another, marshaling resources of growth,recover, and further differentiation." Erikson deals effectively with a process that is at the core of the individual and in the core of the individual's communal culture.
After reading Lawrence Friedman's biography on Erikson entitled "Identity's Architect," I have come to appreciate the richness of Erikson's observations, such as "I shall present human growth from the point of view of the conflicts, inner and outer, which the vital personality weathers, re-emerging from each crisis with an increased sense of inner unity...," knowing that Erikson himself came to such conclusions only after examining his own storied past.
The illegitimate son of a Danish mother, and a father of unknown nationality, "Identity's Architect" weathered many a conflict, both inner and outer, as he journeyed toward a sense of his own identity.
Identity: Youth and Crisis is not an easy read, but it is rich with insight into the most mysterious and turbulent of all stages in the life cycle: adolescence. Ideal for those students of child psychology, child development, and those who work with youth.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Giordano Bruno on February 14, 2009
Format: Paperback
There I was, walking under the blooming magnolias with my "kid" sister, who is now a 61-year old appellate judge, and I found myself rehashing some of the ideas about "stages of maturity" beyond the Piagetian developmental stages of childhood, ideas expounded by Erik Erikson. I read a lot of Erikson in the 1960s and 1970s; most people did. Now it seems that Erikson is out of fashion, almost forgotten. That's a dreadful mistake. The man was never a researcher, never really a scientific psychologist, but he was a brilliant social thinker. His notions of "seven" stages of personality development had very deep roots - far deeper than Freud, reaching back to the Middle Ages and perhaps to classical Rome - and his supposition that "success or failure" in transiting each stage might predetermine a person's chances of success at later stages... well, that's perhaps not a 'falsifiable' scientific hypothesis, but it gibes well with generations of human experience, personal, anecdotal, and literary. In any case, my sister and I are edging into Erikson's seventh stage of personality development. We can look at each other, hark back to remembered 'versions' of each other, and say "Erikson wasn't far wrong."

I realize this isn't a review. I'm offering it to myself, and others, as a reminder that it might be worthwhile to re-read this collection of essays or some other book by Erik Erikson. Who knows, it might contain a spark of wisdom we need to "succeed" at finally growing up!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ms. Danielle Brady on April 8, 2010
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Erikson provides for easy reading. He is accessible and uses examples throughout.

He is a founding father in psychotherapy and this piece was published in 1968. However, I am in the process of writing a thesis on Facebook and Youth Culture in modern Ireland.Eriksons developmental theories still ring through today. I am still able to apply them to the developmental cycle of the adolescents I am studying.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Margaret Heyde on July 22, 2013
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Read this for the first time when it was originally published (around 1967) and it straightened me out on the questions I had on homosexuality and what it means to have a "normal" childhood. Reading it again because it is written well.
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