Erikson’s idea of lifelong changes stages might have been true general, that is, the life stages he developed happen on almost everyone at the time of his studies and experiment. In my personal observation with the life of others and my personal life, I believe that such stages are not true to all. For example, Erikson asserts that identity and role confusion are experience by people at adolescent stage (E. Erikson, 1968). There are many factors that may influence the changes in a person’s view of his identity.
A family friend of ours is a perfect example of the exemptions. As early as grade school, she has already her fixed and firm identity of herself: she is to finish school and become a chemist because she is the hope of her family. At early age, her goal is already fixed in her mind because of the family’s financial crisis. Erikson is proven correct in his assessment that people experience major changes in adolescent stage such that at this stage people usually come to entertain and to commit to a relationship.
But that family friend, at the age of 27 never had committed into such mutual relationship for she has kept herself stuck on her career and taking care of her family’s needs. A person’s readiness to commit into intimate relationship depends of her present situation, her family background or even religious views. As with my experience, that sense of committing to intimate relationship did not happen on my early twenties, but happened at a later stage. The world has undergone a lot of changes since Erikson’s developed his table of life stages.
Technology, economic changes, political and moral changes have all changed fast since then. In my observation people today no longer feel stable to have their own family at their middle twenties because it is at this stage that most people take the opportunity to boost their careers, in working hard to make savings and enjoying the benefits of being single. In the modern world, financial stability is a major consideration in committing to intimate relationships, aside from emotional stability. For our family friend, relationships can wait until her thirties.
Because people today generally get married and have family at their late twenties and early thirties, like most people I know, I believe that it is at this stage where major changes occur in one’s life. When someone gets married, he has to adjust to married life from being single, which generally will give him more responsibilities. It is at this stage that people experience what Erikson’s referred to as identity and role confusion because it is at this stage where people has to play more than one role at a time (father and supervisor in his job).
When they already have kids, they have to make adjustments on their spending patterns and social activities because there are already other important people to consider. Changes such as when a kid has to start going to school, may practically change some elements in a relationship. The partners have to make adjustments on their time with each other as either one of them will find time for the kid in going to school and in guiding his studies. Compared to Erikson, some people may not be able to achieve satisfaction and love at adult stage while some may experience them at young adulthood.
In conclusion, Erikson’s stages of life still apply today. However, in order that they were developed by Erikson no longer applies because of the major changes that have happened and influenced the life of most contemporary people, especially in liberated countries like the United States. QUESTION SET 2 Even if one is not keen enough, he will agree with me that television advertisements and even billboards today largely point to children and teenagers as consumers. From food, drinks, gadgets, fashion and accessories to games, sports and amusements, the media are packed with children stuff.
It is at early childhood that someone starts to explore and a child learns things fast (E. Atwater). Children easily grasp ideas as evidenced by their ability to learn a song fast, has more courage and eagerness to try new things especially that relates to technology. At this stage, children start to express what things they like and why do they want to have “cool stuffs”. These are maybe the reasons why companies try to make their products more appealing to children through “cool ads”.
These at the same time make parents worry about ads, especially TV ads that may influence their children’s behavior or outlook in life. Consider a TV commercial by Oreo cookies, with a baby boy and his father as characters. The father said to his son, “…I will teach you one thing every man should know, how to eat an Oreo. ” There is not really a direct bad implication of this commercial. However, extracting its meaning will lead to a conclusion that every man should know how to eat Oreo in order to become a real man. So everyone must eat Oreo, otherwise you’re not be a complete man.
The ad somehow teaches than manhood is based on material things. So kids might say that “hey, I am a man because I know how to eat an Oreo” which is a shallow and weak foundation of manhood. Another commercial is the one that promotes Visa Cards. It may not be totally directed to children but somehow may have impact on them. The commercial features the parents and their naughty little boy who always make a mess and loves destroying things. At the child’s school presentation, the child behaved and did a good performance on stage but later grabs the stage curtain and messed up.
Everything that the child destroys is replaced by the parents using the Visa Card without considering the cost because what is important is the happiness of the child. The bad side of this is that children might think that messing up is okay with their parents because they can have it replaced. The value of discipline is therefore lost here. Also, the commercial again implies materiality in life. I personally appreciate the countries or governments that strictly prohibit commercials aimed at children and youth. However, such policies have good and bad results.
One good result is that the children’s risk of acquiring bad habit or attitude is lessened. The bad side of it is that children and youth may not be able to exercise their freedom to choose for themselves. With commercials, they will have easy access to products that may be beneficial for them and from there they can exercise their freedom to choose what they feel is good for them. I believe that it is not healthy that parents always make choices for their children. I believe that it is also an opportunity to boost their self-esteem and morale that children and youth are able to choose.
It is however important for parents to guide them. QUESTION SET 3 Role conflicts might have been one of the hardest things in my life that I have experienced as student, a parent and an employee. Role stress is one thing that I have to deal with everyday. As a non-traditional student, I have to make ways in order to manage my time. I have to think of ways on how I can do my responsibilities at school at the same time doing my part as a parent. I also have to make sure that my I still perform well in my job because it is the only way I can assure my family’s financial security.
There many times that I also feel tired and exhausted of being busy with more than one thing but I know that the best I can do is to endure the hardships of having multiple roles in conflict. I cannot make any of these roles of lesser importance because these roles are all equally important to me. As with my observation and experience, people also come to a point where prioritizing is a choice they are required to make. In cases like this, I believe that family will always be the priority of most people. First, it is in the family where most people had developed a strong sense of belongingness, love and importance.
Second, people work or study not for themselves but for the benefit of the family which means that the family is still the reason why people make sacrifices and efforts in their jobs. Third, it is harder to lose a family or its member than to lose a job or career or the opportunity to avail of education. One will be hard up looking for and building a family while one always has the opportunity to find a job and to study. The intensity of role conflicts in the contemporary world is different from that experience by people in 1960s. Economic trends, technology and social trends are factors that influenced such changes.
Before, the number of single parents may have been far lesser than today so women or men at that time have less likely experience conflicts or being a breadwinner and a mother to his children. At that time, men are expected to have to have the sole responsibility of providing for their families but because of economic changes, families today can no more afford to live a decent life with the father working alone especially with average income only. This means that women now have the greater risk of experiencing conflicts between a mother role and as financial support to her husband.
Today, to avail of education is no more exclusive to the youth and traditional students. Distance education, weekend and evening classes are already made available for everyone to avail of education while performing other roles are parents or as employees. This very beneficial to those who cannot afford to stop working or to attend classes in place of studies. This is especially important to those who are attending community colleges. Compared to students in elite colleges, those at the community colleges have more role conflicts because they are usually the persons who are financially insecure.
Meaning, they cannot afford to make full time at school for reasons like they need to work to sustain their studies. Single parents, who are not of a well-off family, cannot afford to make full time in school because they cannot afford to hire a nanny to take care of their kids. For these reasons, the government and the academic community have developed educational programs that give opportunities for these non-traditional students to avail of education. WORKS CITED Atwater, E. “Adolescence” (Third edition). Prentice Hall, 1992. Conger, J.
“Adolescence and Youth: Psychological Development in a Changing World” (Fourth Edition). HarperCollins, 1991. Erikson, Erik H. “Identity Youth and Crisis”. W. W. Norton & Company, 1968. Steinberg, L. “Adolescence” (Third Edition). McGraw Hill, 1993. Stinger, Sharon. “The Psychological Changes of Adolescence: A Test of Character”. Retrieved on June 09, 2007 from http://scholar. lib. vt. edu/ejournals/ALAN/fall94/Stringer. html Cravens, Tom. ”Status and Role” Retrieved on June 09, 2007 from http://www. tomcravens. com/index. html