Identity's Architect - A Biography of Erik Erikson Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Identity's Architect - A Biography of Erik Erikson

Identity's architect- a biography of Erik H. Erikson
Author: Lawrence J. Friedman
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Scholar: Susan D. Minkalis

    This biography of psychoanalyst Erik Erickson explores the mysteries of internal human development. The author intelligently produces valuable insights explaining Erikson's theories of the child psyche. The life story of Erikson reveals his own personal pursuit to find out who his real father as he comprehends the meaning of an identity crisis. He vehemently insisted that social circumstances and the deep inner perception were equal contributable factors in determining human personality.      

    Erikson was born the year of 1902 in Frankfurt, Germany. In the late 1920s he was an artist and teacher until he met the Austrian psychoanalyst Anna Freud. With her support, he began studying at the Vienna Psychoanalytic Institute, where he specialized in child psychoanalysis. In 1933 he immigrated to the United States, first joining the faculty of the Harvard Medical School and then moving to Yale University. He researched groups of Native American children to help devise his theories. These studies facilitated him to correlate personality growth with parental and societal values. He proposed an interrelated series of psychosocial phases of personality growth that more strongly accentuated social influence within the family.

    Erickson explains how children acquire social skills, emotional self-control, reasoning strategies and stresses the role of social and cultural influences in the structure of personality.
The review of this Book prepared by Susan D. Minkalis

Chapter Analysis of Identity's Architect - A Biography of Erik Erikson

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Plot & Themes

job/profession:    -   psychiatrist/advice giver Job/profession/poverty story    -   Yes Period of greatest activity?    -   1950+

Subject of Biography

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   psychiatrist Ethnicity    -   White Nationality    -   German Unusual characteristics:    -   Genius


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   4 () United States    -   Yes Misc setting    -   scientific labs Century:    -   1960's-1970's

Writing Style

Book makes you feel?    -   challenged Pictures/Illustrations?    -   None How much dialogue in bio?    -   significantly more descript than dialog How much of bio focuses on most famous period of life?    -   26-50% of book

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Lawrence J. Friedman Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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