Identity, Erikson writes, is an unfathomable as it is all-pervasive. It deals with a process that is located both in the core of the individual and in the core of the communal culture. As the culture changes, new kinds of identity questions arise-Erikson comments, for example, on issues of social protest and changing gender roles that were particular to the 1960s. Representing two decades of groundbreaking work, the essays are t so much a systematic formulation of theory as an evolving report that is both clinical and theoretical. The subjects range from creative confusion in two famous lives-the dramatist George Bernard Shaw and the philosopher William James-to the connection between individual struggles and social order. Race and the Wider Identity and the controversial Womanhood and the Inner Space are included in the collection.
A winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, Erik H. Erikson was renowned worldwide as teacher, clinician, and theorist in the field of psychoanalysis and human development.