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Erik H. Erikson (1902–1994)

Author of Childhood and Society

37+ Works 3,655 Members 12 Reviews 4 Favorited

About the Author

Erik H. Erikson, a German-born American psychologist and psychoanalyst, developed theories about the sequence of human development that have had an impact on clinical psychoanalysis, ethics, history, literature, child care, and the emerging interdisciplinary study of the life course. Erikson was an show more art student, but after undergoing psychoanalysis by Anna Freud in Vienna in 1927, he turned to the field of psychology. According to Erikson's life-cycle theory, first published in Childhood and Society (1950), there are eight developmental stages, which are biologically determined but environmentally shaped: infancy, early childhood, play age, school age, adolescence, young adulthood, mature adulthood, and old age. Each of these stages is associated with a particular crisis that the individual must successfully resolve in order to proceed normally to the next stage-for example, identity versus confusion in adolescence. The concept of the identity crisis is now firmly embedded in psychiatric theory. Erikson also studied the relationship between a person's life and the times in which he or she lives; and his historical-biographical studies of Luther and Gandhi are outstanding products of this inquiry. Erikson taught at Harvard University for 30 years (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Works by Erik H. Erikson

Childhood and Society (1950) 914 copies
Young Man Luther (1958) 702 copies
Identity: Youth and Crisis (1968) 440 copies
Identity and the Life Cycle (1980) 300 copies
The Life Cycle Completed (1982) 226 copies
The Erik Erikson Reader (2000) 59 copies
Adulthood (1978) 40 copies
The Challenge of Youth (Doubleday Anchor Book) (1963) — Editor — 35 copies

Associated Works

The Historian as Detective: Essays on Evidence (1968) — Contributor — 263 copies
The Ancient World to the Reformation (1973) — Contributor — 78 copies
Philosophy now : an introductory reader (1972) — Contributor — 24 copies
20 Poems from the Book of Hours by Rainer Maria Rilke (1988) — Illustrator, some editions — 1 copy


Common Knowledge



An interesting anthropological approach, riddled with dated views on sex, gender and roles, particularly in the first half.
Ell3 | Feb 28, 2023 |
If you're only familiar with the condensed version of Erikson described in undergraduate psychology and child development classes (the stages of psychosocial development, with their neat pairings of opposed forces) then actually reading his defining book may be a surprise. In this mixed bag of personal case studies, theoretical wanderings, and psychological biography, he approaches Freudian theory as if it were a large stalled vehicle, takes it apart to reveal some unusual components, and then reassembles the parts into something that looks a lot like the original but sometimes goes sideways instead of forward. I get the feeling that consistency was not his main interest, and I'm glad, since watching such an inquisitive mind move in so many directions at once is better than any number of little charts.… (more)
elibishop173 | 3 other reviews | Oct 11, 2021 |
The descriptions on this site and on the book-cover itself are terribly misleading. This is much less an examination of the rise of militant non-violence as a social phenomenon than it is a Freudian examination of Gandhi himself. It offers some interesting reflexions on Gandhi's motivations, and I like the focus of the book on a seemingly minor strike in Amedhabad. Erikson's writing style is also a plus, as he is very conversational and humble while otherwise strongly criticizing one of history's most beloved figures. Unfortunately, most of the book is so steeped in Freudian psycho-babble as to be not only significantly dated, but also really boring.… (more)
blake.rosser | 2 other reviews | Jul 28, 2013 |
Robert Jay Lifton's "Youth and History: Individual Change in Postwar Japan" is an nteresting historical piece on university student tenkou from Leftist activitists to company employees.
neomarxisme | Feb 21, 2007 |



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