As the world bears witness to the terror and warfare provoked by people's sense of who they are, how they are regarded, and what they deserve, we have entered into the "age of identity." Erik Erikson (1902-1994) was the prophet of this new age. His lifetime of clinical and interdisciplinary work on human development focused on the formation and maintenance of identity among people of diverse backgrounds: black, white, and Native American; rich, middle class, and poor; male and female. In this volume scholars from various disciplines, some who knew, worked with, and became good friends of Erikson, discuss and assess his legacy, and investigate the challenges that identity brings to the contemporary world. Contributions to this volume frame the challenge identity poses to contemporary scholarship through Erikson's own work, research in empirical and clinical psychology, individual and rational choice theories, Marxism, democratic theories of political participation, fundamentalism, and globalization . Through the book's truly trans-disciplinary scope, Erikson and his scholarship beg to be revisited by psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists, and students of interdisciplinary social sciences and humanities.
The Future of Identity will not only acquaint new readers with Erikson's work, but will spark new interest among those thoroughly familiar with Erikson's groundbreaking theory of human development. I found the book to be much more than a commemoration--a true advance in the humanities and social sciences that should have an impact. -- Dana Ward, Executive Director, International Society of Political Psychology, Pitzer College, Political Studies
In rich, imaginative chapters that range from explorations of personal identity to political, religious and state identities, this exciting book offers a wonderful tribute to the power of Erik Erikson's ideas. The creative possibilities of his concept of identity flourish in these writings, and serve as proof of the power of Erikson's ideas to stimulate others. -- Dana Crowley Jack, author of Silencing the Self and Behind the Mask
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Many prominent developments in our time-globalization, multiculturalism, and postmodernism-have rendered the issue of identity crucial and urgent. In reaction against a bland universalism and the perceived danger of Westernization, we see the emergence of "identity politics," often with a vengeance (e.g. religious/ethnic fundamentalism). There is much discussion in the literature today about what "identity" means; but the discussion is often confused, emotional, or tendentious.... As Kenneth Hoover points out in his Introduction, this work can provide a corrective to a number of currently fashionable, but ultimately faulty perspectives on identity. Against these perspectives, Erikson offers a balanced and socially more sensitive and responsible alternative.... Publication of this volume will no longer permit anyone to ignore this alternative. -- Fred R. Dallmayr, Packey J. Dee Professor Emeritus, University of Notre Dame
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