DSE212 Exploring Psychology
Describe the similarities and differences in the way identity is conceptualised by the psychosocial theory of identity and social identity theory.
Identity plays an important role in the life of people whether in a social context or personal.
Identity can be described as a theory about us and the concept of identity has been around since W. James (1890) produced a theory on identity. There has been allot of research into the topic which helps confirm the complexity of identity, stemming from this some theories have been created to try and understand it.
This paper will explore two of those theories which help explain some aspects of identity, Psychosocial Theory of Identity and Social Identity Theory (SIT). This will be done by looking at how both theories look at identity, their similarities and differences, and how either of them helps our understanding of identity.
Erikson’s theory stems from personal field research within Native American communities. Also from clinical therapy work within medical centres as well as being influenced by Sigmund Freud. He divided a lifespan into eight stages of psychosocial development (Table 1). Each of its stages being a process where conflicts may arise between personal needs and social needs, internal struggles and challenges where must be negotiated in order to develop. This process can last a lifetime, meaning it changes. He also placed importance on society and how it affects identity, for example through the wars in Europe people thought more about death and different identities where created.
He saw adolescence as an important period for identity development, at this time growth and decision making arise in order for us to develop ego identity; a perception of the self view of the physical and social self. The integration of different views of the self into a core identity the coherent whole that results from this process of integrating perceptions of the...