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.
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