This monograph is the first of a series published under the rubric of Psychological Issues that deals with the analytic theory of behavior. The republication of this selected paper was deemed necessary because of its pregnant observations and because of repeated references to it in both the psychiatric literature and discussions. The title is self-explanatory and is the theme of all of Erik Eriksen's unique contributions.
Eriksen believes each man completes a continuum of individual life cycles. With each life cycle there is an emergence of socially definable identity. Identity formation is dependent on the process by which society identifies the young individual. The social process moulds generations in order to be reinvigorated. This interdependence of the individual aspiration and societal striving is indispensable to human life.
The author adumbrates a concept of epigenesis by which he synthesizes and "dovetails psychosexual and psychosocial" development. He believes in the innate development