The Future of Identity

Centennial Reflections on the Legacy of Erik Erikson

Contributions by Robert Coles, Lena Klintbjer Erickson, Lawrence M. Friedman, Kenneth Hoover, Catarina Kinnvall, Lina Kreidie, Jane Kroger, James Marcia, Kristen Monroe Edited by Kenneth Hoover

Publication date:

15 June 2004

Length of book:

180 pages


Lexington Books

ISBN-13: 9780739108024

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.