Individuals search for meaning in their work and that is why social identity is so critical to an understanding of work. Outline the essence of Erikson’s theory of social identity and consider its relevance for the individual. Our social identity is who we are as person, as an individual but also as part of a group. This means there are many different factors during our lives that add to developing our social identity. Many psychologists havelooked at this area. Freud believed our identity was formed by age 5.However Erik Erikson came up with his stage theory which underlined Freud’s idea. Erikson’s stage theory shows development through our entire life. Erikson believed the environment that young people grow up in helps to shape their identities. This coupled with the attributes and characteristics genetically inherited from parents gives us our ‘core identity Erikson’s theory has 8 stages, they are in order as follows Basic Trust vs. Mistrust (leading to hope), Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt, Initiative vs. Guilt, Industry vs. Inferiority, Identity vs. Role Confusion, Intimacy vs. Isolation, Generativity vs. Stagnation, Ego Integrity vs. Despair . Erikson believed that the successful outcome of each stage would provide a certain virtue for life. The dominance of work in identity formation:
For many people, their work is themselves.
Take away their work and you take away a fair chunk of their soul Search for meaning
Searching for Meaning is central
Ethical dimension? (moral compass/what are our values?)
Short term/long term commitments
Our inner life and the search
‘One is never talking to oneself, always one is addressed to someone. Suddenly, without knowing the reason, at different stages in one’s life, one is addressing this person or that all the time, even dreams are performed before an audience. Its well-known that people who commit suicide, the most solitary of acts, are addressing someone’. In this, we are continuously striving for meaning;...
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