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Identity: Based on Erik Erikson and James Marcia

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1 Identity: Based on Erik Erikson and James Marcia
My presentation is about identity formation, based on the theories of Erik Erikson and James Marcia. Identity is defined by James Marcia as “a self structure – an internal, self-constructed, dynamic organization of drives, abilities, beliefs, and individual history.” (Handbook of Adolescence, 159) So how is identity developed, and what did these two men believe? Maddy Brink

2 Objectives To discover what Erik Erikson means by a person’s formation of identity through dichotomies of crises. To understand the four identity statuses identified by James Marcia. To identify characteristics of each identity status. To explain my project and what I learned based on these theories. In this PowerPoint presentation, I want you to first learn about the theories themselves, and then learn about how I used James Marcia’s theory to interview people, and determine what status they are “in.” I say “in” in quotations because identity cannot be pinned down. There are too many facets to an identity, and the dynamism of life keeps people growing and changing all the time. Maddy Brink

3 What does Erik Erikson believe regarding identity?
Even from infancy, babies are forming their identities through their interactions with their mothers Identity is formed based on many series of conflicts People go through eight stages of conflicts in coming to terms with the world In order to have a healthy sense of the world, children must learn in each stage of life both a positive and negative aspect of a conflict that arises from their experience with the world, and emerge from each stage with a favorable ratio of positive over negative. (ex. Trust v. Mistrust) In Erikson’s theory of development, based on Sigmund Freud’s theory of psychosexual development, Erikson says that a person develops his identity through 8 different crises, based on a dichotomy of experiences the child/teenager/adult has with the outside world. Erikson’s main theme was that children learn through conflict. They grow into happy, healthy adults when they can emerge from each stage of life with a favorable ratio of the positive outlook over the negative. Maddy Brink

4 Erikson’s Eight Stages of Identity Crisis
Trust v. Mistrust – Infancy Autonomy v. Shame and Doubt – Toddlerhood Initiative v. Guilt – Preschoolers Industry v. Inferiority – School Aged Identity v. Role Confusion – Adolescence Intimacy v. Isolation – Early Adulthood Generativity v. Stagnation – Middle Aged Integrity v. Despair – Maturiy For example, in the very beginning of life, and infant deals with the issues of trust versus mistrust. Is he going to be taken care of or neglected? Obviously it is good for the child’s development to be taken care of, and it he is, he will emerge from this stage with a sense of belonging. But he needs to understand mistrust to some degree – a basic loss of the paradise of the womb. It the child is not weaned from the mother, he will become clingy, but if he is too suddenly weaned, he will feel abandoned. Methods of parenting give a undertones to a child’s whole life, even in the very beginning, so it is a terribly important job. All the rest of the stages of Erikson’s identity formation follow the same principles. Each stage builds on the results of the previous one, and eventually the individual has more influence on his identity than do his parents. This happens especially in stage 5 and 6. Maddy Brink

5 How does James Marcia fit in to all of this?
James Marcia set up a framework for understanding how adolescents and young adults deal with the problems they face during the conflicts of Identity v. Role Confusion and Intimacy v. Isolation. In Marcia’s system, there are four different statuses of identity. Each corresponds to a stage in the process of exploring and committing to an ideology. James Marcia, a modern theorist and professor and Simon Fraser University in Canada, expanded upon Erikson’s theory in the two stages of an individual’s most noticeable identity formation, “Identity v. Role Confusion” and “Intimacy v. Isolation.” The first of these stages begins around age 13, when an individual begins in puberty and the time of formal operational thought. The young teen begins to wonder, “Who am I?” Maddy Brink

6 Is this me? Who am I? What are my goals? Identity Diffusion Moratorium
No exploration Exploration Identity Diffusion Moratorium Foreclosure Identity Achievement No commitment Commitment In Marcia’s explanation of identity during the adolescent years, he bases a person’s state of identity on two questions: has the person explored his ideas/ideologies? and has the person committed to a certain idea/ideology? The crossing of these two questions creates four “identity statuses.” (read chart, and explain) What are my goals? Maddy Brink

7 Identity Diffusion “I don’t worry about values ahead of time; I decide things when they happen.” “I don’t know what I believe.” Identity diffuse people do not know how they will end up, nor do they care. They are just living for the moment and give little thought to the future. If diffuse people do not mature by adulthood – bad news. They have little self-esteem and little autonomy; they are usually disorganized, complicated, and somewhat unethical. They are withdrawn, wary of peers, and unfavorably received by others. The “lowest” of the identity statuses is called identity diffusion. The person here has not explored and has not committed to any particular ideology. He may have experienced a large crisis in his life, but he has not reacted to it. He is flighty, unreliable, and distant – usually very self-centered, too. It is normal for young children to be diffused, but once adolescence and adulthood hit, a person should be well beyond identity diffusion. Maddy Brink

8 Foreclosure “I’ve known since I was young what I wanted to be.”
“It’s better to have a firm set of beliefs than to be open to different ideas.” Foreclosed people commit to an identity, but they commit to an identity that has been handed to them, usually by some authority. This is natural at a young age, but often in young adulthood, children of wealthy parents accept the predetermined identities that their parents give them. Foreclosed adults are characterized by a disapproval of showing strong emotion, support for authoritarian views, a need for social approval, poor results in stressful situations, stereotypical relationships, great behavior, and happy family life. Foreclosure is the next-lowest identity status…people who have done no exploration and have had no crisis, but who take on a preformed identity, usually one presented to them by their parents. Maddy Brink

9 "When I have a problem, I do a lot of thinking to understand it."
MORATORIUM "When I have a problem, I do a lot of thinking to understand it." “When I have to make a big decision, I like to know as much as I can about it.” People in the moratorium status are exploring their identities, but they have not yet committed to any certain ideology yet. They are experimenting and searching for a set of ideas and beliefs to call their own. "Where to now?" Moratoriums are characterized by anxiety, high self-esteem, internally oriented behavior, cultural sophistication, a need for both rebellion and acceptance, short deep relationships, and favorable reception from others. Maddy Brink

10 "I have a strong set of beliefs I use when making decisions."
Identity Achieved People who are identity achieved have explored their options and have committed to a certain ideology that fits them. They have taken on a set of values and beliefs that are all their own. “They know not only who they are, they know how they became that, and that they had a hand in the becoming.” - James Marcia These people are independent, smart, and confident. They are generally well-received by others, and they have high self-esteem, even in unfamiliar situations. Maddy Brink

11 Male v. Female = we are not the same.
Females base identity on interpersonal relationships Females deal with traditional gender issues when determining identity Ex) from “White Oleander” Photos ©2002 Warner Bros. Pictures Link to women’s relationships paper Link to interview comment Maddy Brink

12 What did I do with my project, then?
Interview college students to see if I could determine what stage of identity formation they are in Interview young teenagers to see what stages they are in, and how they have been influenced. Interview adults who can look back on their lives to see the different stages, and how they progressed from one to the next. Maddy Brink

13 Interviews for 18-22 year olds.
Determine identity status Find characteristic behaviors/thought patterns in each status See how much parents influence the children, even as the children are no longer children See what types of crises made people change. Find differences between male and female responses. Sample interview Maddy Brink

14 Interviews for 11-12 year olds.
Determine status See who influences this age group the most Know why they believe what they believe Are they independent in their thoughts? Where do their ideas come from? Maddy Brink

15 Crisis!!! Interview for Adults
Did they have to go through all four statuses? What was the order of statuses? What caused them to move from one status to another? What was a big crisis they faced and how did it effect them? Crisis!!! Maddy Brink

16 What I have found… Data for 11-12 year old students
19 year old female (rape victim) 22 year old male (from military background) 20 year old male (had severe depression) 19 year old female (motorcycle gang parents) Data for Adult Interviews (go to the data sheets, or bring them, and read off of them – would be quicker – and show some of the data, and explain it.) 60 year old female 27 year old female 27 year old male Maddy Brink

17 Conclusions Through the interview process, we can determine a person’s predominant identity status. Identity also is not an all-inclusive term that applies to the whole of a person’s personality. based in all the positive or negative outcomes of Erikson’s 8 stages of development Lifelong MAMA cycles “…identity crises (MAMA cycles) are present throughout the life span.” - Jim Marcia Through the interview process, we can determine a person’s predominant identity status. But each status contains somewhat of the other statuses. The identity statuses do not follow an invariable order, because the psyche does not develop in a linear fashion. A crisis in one’s life causes one to change, but the change can be either positive or negative – the person can either progress or regress. Identity also is not an all-inclusive term that applies to the whole of a person’s personality. It is based in all the positive or negative outcomes of Erikson’s 8 stages of development applied to each aspect of a person’s life. Put all that together and you have an identity, for that moment in time. The next crisis the person faces (even a miniscule one) will mold the individual’s identity his whole life long. (MAMA cycles) It is based in all the positive or negative outcomes of Erikson’s 8 stages of development applied to each aspect of a person’s life. Put all that together and you have an identity, for that moment in time. The next crisis the person faces (even a miniscule one) will mold the individual’s identity his whole life long. (MAMA cycles) Maddy Brink

18 Conclusions, Cont… When a person first accomplishes a fixed identity status, his sense of accomplishment/relief that he has settled on an identity will often lead to more identity formation, in other areas of his life. “But the one thing that constructing that first identity almost guarantees is subsequent identity crises. If you put it into a Piagetian framework, every accommodation carries within it the seeds of its own disequilibration. When you've developed a structure then certain things that you had to think about before become automatic. What that does is to permit one to be aware of things that they never even perceived previously. Hence, the seeds of disequilibration as new experiences must now be accommodated.” – Jim Marcia Explain the quote – in Piaget’s theory, children learn through a disequalibration of the world around them. They have a certain scheme in their minds - a structure that fits all of their ideas together somehow. But children learn through a process called organization…they experience new information, but their minds don’t know how to fit this new information into existing schemes. This puts the children into disequalibration. The children must now form new schemes to accommodate information or else adjust an old scheme to assimilate new information into it.. Marcia uses this theory of children’s development to describe identity development. Once a person has achieved some sort of identity, it becomes a part of him, and he now sees through achieved eyes. He knows he can now apply achievement to other areas of his life, and the thought that happens in other areas (social, political, etc.) causes more and more crises as he experiences moratoriums (exploration) to reach achievement. (MAMA cycles). Take the Marcia-Erikson Quiz! Maddy Brink

19 Table of Contents for the PowerPoint
Title Page Objectives What does Erikson believe? Erikson’s 8 stgaes How does Marcia fit in? Marcia’s 4 statuses Identity Diffusion Foreclosure Moratorium Identity Achievement Male v. Female 12. What did I do? Interview 18-22 Interview 11-12 Interview Adults Data Conclusions Conclusions, Cont… Maddy Brink

20 Works Cited Crain, W. (2000). Theories of Development: Concepts and Applications. (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall. Erikson, E.H. (1968). Identity: Youth and Crisis. New York: Norton Hoover, K.R. (1997). With Marcia, J.E., and Parris, K. The Power of Identity: Politics in a New Key. New Jersey: Chatham House. Marcia, J. E. (1980). Ego Identity Development. In J. Adelson (Ed.), Handbook of Adolescent Psychology. New York: John Wiley. Marcia, J.E. (2003). s sent to ME! Maddy Brink

21 Identity Inspiration Maddy Brink

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