Today, the American psychoanalyst, Erik Erikson is best known as the “Architect of Identity, and the “Father of Psychosocial Development”. Erikson is a Freudian ego-psychologist, meaning that he accepts Freud’s ideas as basically correct, although he has been known to look farther into the culture, and society-oriented parts (Beoree, 1997). Maybe that is why Erikson’s theories are popular among Freudian’s and non-Freudian’s alike. He is credited for widening the scope of psychoanalytic theory to take greater account of social, cultural, and other environment factors (Slater, 2002).
Erik Erikson was born on June 15, 1902 in Frankfurt, Germany. His parent’s had separated from each other before he was born and his mother wedded a Jewish doctor. They raised Erik under the last name of Homburger, which belonged to his Jewish stepfather. (Martin) His peers beheld him as Jewish, but his Jewish temple did not accept him because of his appearance. Consequently, during his youth, Erikson had many struggles with identity. (Boeree) Erikson's family very much wanted him to study science. Erikson did not do well in school and did not continue on to university. Instead of pursuing the science degree, he
went to art school and enjoyed eight years of travelling Europe as a wandering artist.(Martin)
After Erikson had graduated from art school, he began to teach at a private school in Vienna. He attended the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society. He also taught in a small private school and educated himself as a Montessori teacher. Erikson studied psychoanalysis with Anna Freud, the youngest of Sigmund and Martha Freud's six children. (Astor) He married a woman whose name was Joan M. Serson and had two sons with her. (Boeree) In the early 1930's, Erikson moved his family to the United States. He became a U.S citizen in 1939 and changed his last name from Homburger to Erikson. (Martin) Erikson worked at Harvard Medical School, Yale...