- ソシオロジ (ISSN:05841380)
- vol.27, no.2, pp.1-19,123, 1982
The concept of identity nowadays seems "unfashionable" in academic circles. But, for sociologists as well as psychologists, its meaning is yet ambiguous. The process in which the concept of identity has been formed by E.H. Erikson is explored in this paper in order to clarify what he means by "identity". Erikson's first concern was "How is the mutuality between ego and alter possible?" This question may be differently phrased as, "How can the self-expressions of ego and alter be compatible?"; or, "How is the adjustment between self-expression and self-control in an individual in society possible?"<br> This question has been the main subject of modern western social philosophers, for example, Hobbes, Locke, Roussau, Adam Smith and, though it may sound strange to call him a philosopher, Freud.<br> Erikson's concept of "mutuality" means functional mutuality, resembling the sociological concept of "complementarity of role-expectations".<br> But the next problem for Erikson was that an individual is divided among various roles. In other words, "inter-role conflict " which is experienced by that individual as "intra-role conflict" occurs. A clue to a solution was given by William James' concept of "personal identity in The Principles of Psychology (1890).<br> William James insisted that the personal identity is verified in "the stream of consciousness" But Erickson's "psycho-social identity" must in addition be verified in individual's actions. Thus the way in which an individual can achieve "role integration" becomes the main concern for Erikson at this stage. In this paper, we have decided to explore this concept of "role integration!' paying special consideration to the "adaptation" theory of H.Hartmann and its influence on Erickson's thought.