Eriksons psychosocial theory and tajfels social identity

Tajfel proposed that the groups e.

Eriksons psychosocial theory and tajfels social identity

This essay will describe two of the prominent theories — psychosocial and Social Identity Theory — and explain some of the differences between them. As the main point, it will contrast the individual approach of the psychosocial model with the group approach of Social Identity Theory.

The essay will also suggest why these different approaches may have been developed.

Social Identity Theory Outline

At each stage there would be a resolution conflict, the outcome of which would influence the achievement of identity. This period of time, which Erikson called psychosocial moratorium, would either end successfully, resulting in a positive ego identity — a secure feeling of who and what you are — or an identity crisis, where feelings of being overwhelmed by all the role changes would lead to a failure to achieve a secure ego, a situation Erikson termed as role or identity diffusion.

Erikson acknowledged the importance of social influence, but considered social identity as a separate system, thereby neglecting race, colour, gender and social class as critical factors.

Instead, he emphasised individual and personal identity formation as the key aspects of his theory. Tajfel believed that identity was heavily shaped by social group membership rather than individualism. He claimed that people gain self-esteem from their sense of belonging to a social group or structure.

He discovered that people would be prepared to withhold rewards for an out-group even if this meant less reward for their own group, in order to preserve in-group status. These findings were used to assert that large-scale social categories such as gender, race, nationality, class, etc.

In this regard, Social Identity Theory takes a more dynamic approach to the development of identity.


Unlike psychosocial theory, where times and stages of conflict appear to be abrupt and inevitable, SIT acknowledges that tension between groups may result in social change, a migration to a different social group or an attempt to redefine the existing group in terms which convey higher status.

It could also be argued that minimal group research is not necessarily reflective of the group dynamics of larger social structures Henriques,cited by Phoenix Nevertheless, despite the introduction of research methods by Marcia and his deeper analysis of the adolescent period, this has not really closed the gap between the overall approaches of psychosocial theory and SIT.

He stated that the final period of his eight developmental stages occurred when bodily functions and features deteriorated, creating a conflict which could either result in positive feelings of life fulfilment, or general despair where life is considered to be meaningless and futile.

The backgrounds of Erikson and Tajfel suggest reasons for their different approaches.erikson's psychosocial development theory erik erikson's psychosocial crisis life cycle model - the eight stages of human and social (relationships). Erikson believed that his psychosocial principle is genetically inevitable in shaping human development.

It occurs in all people. Identity and the Life Cycle (); The Life Cycle. The psychosocial theory is “explicitly concerned with bodily aspects of identity since the body affects the psychosocial issues we face.” (Pheonix , pg 82) The psychosocial concept furthers knowledge of identity, offering explanations for various aspects of life and current social issues, for example bullying.

Erikson's stages of psychosocial development, as articulated in the second half of the 20th century by Erik Erikson in collaboration with Joan Erikson, is a comprehensive psychoanalytic theory that identifies a series of eight stages that a healthy developing individual should pass through from infancy to late adulthood.

All stages are present. Comparing Erikson and Marcia's Psychosocial Theory of Identity and Tajfel's Social Identity Theory Words Jan 29th, 7 Pages Much research has been done on predictions made by Erikson's theory, especially .

2 SABIEDRĪBA, INTEGRĀCIJA, IZGLĪTĪBA. Starptautiskās zinātniskās konferences materiāli. VII daļa, Augstākā Izglītība, gada maijs.

Erik Erikson | Psychosocial Stages | Simply Psychology

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Eriksons psychosocial theory and tajfels social identity
Erikson's Stages of Development - Learning Theories