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Erik Erikson

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Erik Erikson:
Stages of Psychosocial Development


Erik Erikson was born in Frankfurt, Germany, on June 15, 1902. Erikson's father was a Danish man and abandoned his mother, Karla Abrahamsen, before he was born. Karla raised Erik alone for the first three years of his life in Frankfurt before she remarried Erik's pediatrician, Dr. Theodor Homberger. Karla and Theodor moved to Karlsruhe in southern Germany and raised Erik as their own. Erik's name as a child and young adult was Erik Homberger. After graduating high school Erik roamed Europe taking art classes and visiting museums (Boeree). When he was twenty-five Erik took a teaching position at an experimental school for American students. Besides teaching art, he gathered a certificate in Montessori education and one from the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society. While he was teaching at the school he met a Canadian dancer co-worker, Joan Serson, who became his wife and fathered his three children. They left Vienna when the Nazi's came into power. Erikson and his family traveled to many cities throughout Europe before realizing they needed a bigger change (Boeree). Erik became an American citizen, which is when he changed his name to Erik Erikson. Erikson became the first child psychologist in the New England area (Smith 65). Erik Erikson: Stages of Psychosocial Development

Eventually Erikson and his family went to Boston where he was offered a position at the Harvard Medical School and practiced child psychoanalysis privately. He later taught at Yale and later still at the University of California at Berkeley. In 1950, Erikson left Berkeley when professors there were asked to sign "loyalty oaths." Also in this year, Erikson wrote, "Childhood and Society, [in which] he divided the human life cycle into eight psychosocial stages of development" ("EriksonÂ…" Columbia). The book also contained summaries of his studies among the Native Americans, analyses of Maxim Gorkiy and Adolph...