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ERIKSONS EIGHT STAGES ERIKSONS EIGHT STAGES UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS NOVEMBER 27 2001 Erik Erikson was born in Frankfurt Germany on June 15 1902 There is a little mystery about his heritage His biological father was an unnamed Danish man who abandoned Eriks mother before he was born His mother was a young Jewish woman who raised him alone for the first three years of his life The development of his identity seems to have been one of his greatest concerns in Eriksons own life as well as in his theory During his childhood and his early adulthood he was Erik Homberger and his parents kept the details of his birth a secret When he became an American citizen he officially changed his name to Erik Erikson yet no one seems to know where he got the name Erikson is a Freudian ego-psychologist which means that he accepts Freuds ideas as basically correct as well as the ideas about the ego However Erikson is more society and culture-oriented than most Freudians and often pushes the instincts and the unconscious practically out of the picture Perhaps because of this he is popular among Freudians and non-Freudians alike Erikson is most famous for his work in refining and expanding Freuds theory of stages Development he says functions by the epigenetic principle This principle says that we develop through an unfolding of our personalities in eight stages Erik Eriksons theory of psychosocial development consists of eight stages of development Each stage is characterized by a different conflict that must be resolved by the individual When the environment makes new demands on people these conflicts arise The person is faced with a choice between two ways of coping with each crisis an adaptive or maladaptive way Only when each crisis is resolved which involves a change in the personality does
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