Personifying so he never knew any different. Erikson
Personifying Erikson’s Theory Erik Erikson was a prominent American psychologist that created many theories about human development and social growth.
Erikson produced a stage model based upon the premise that a person lives in the social world and that personality is formed based upon the social interactions that a person experiences. He describes a series of development crises that a person must face throughout the lifespan. Erikson’s theory can be applied to “The King of Pop”, Michael Jackson.
Many stages of Erikson’s psychosocial theory failed in Michael Jackson’s life.The results of Jackson not successful completing these stages lead him to be mentally deranged. Born August 29, 1958 had a normal infancy and toddler years, meaning he successfully completed the first two stages of Erikson’s theory.
However at the age of 5 Michael Jackson became the lead singer of a family boy band called Jackson 5. According to Erikson’s theory during the pre-school years an individual is entering the play stage. At this time the child is supposed to try new things and engage others in their play world. This is the first stage that is corrupt in Jackson’s life.How could he engage in a play world if he was busy practicing and performing? The resolution for him failing the pre-school stage will show in later year of his life. The next stage in Erikson’s stages is Industry vs.
Inferiority. During this time a normal child would begin school and undergoes self-comparison. This is a time where children who are used to only be surrounded by family enter the world and interact with other children. Jackson failed at this stage also. As previously stated he could not interact with other children because he was touring with his brothers.In addition he didn’t get a chance to compare himself to others because he was constantly surrounded by his family, so he never knew any different. Erikson states a child that struggles at this stage negatively evaluates compared to others.
The negative resolution shows later in Jackson’s life as he constantly gets plastic surgery, bleaches his skin and goes to several extremes to fit in with others. As an adolescent Michael Jackson made appeared in a movie “The Whiz” and released his first solo album “Off The Wall”. His album swept the country opping the charts. He toured the country, show after show, promoting for his album. In addition to his album, at this age he wrote songs with legends like Stevie Wonder and Quincy Jones. In Erik Erikson’s theory Jackson was in the Identity vs. Role Diffusion stage.
Jackson was supposed to discovering himself and his interest. While touring the country and constantly performing how could Jackson identify interests? Erikson points out failure of this stage could result in being influenced by circumstances rather than from awareness.The failure of this stage appears later in Jackson’s life when he relies on others to help him make important life decisions. The next stage in Erik Erikson’s theory is Intimacy vs.
Isolation. During this time a young adult expands from family and peers to the task of creating one’s own intimate relationships and sense of belonging in the world of peers. Michael Jackson tried to develop this but miserably failed. His first notable relationship was in 1984 with actress/model, Brooke Shields. The next person Jackson entered a relationship with was Lisa Marie Presley, the daughter of Elvis Presley.Though the marriage only lasted two years, they remained friends. Lisa gave Jackson what he never really had and that was a genuine friend.
His last relationship was with his dermatologist Debbie Rowe; they had two children and were married for only 3 years. Jackson’s struggle to maintain a relationship shows he failed Erik Erickson’s sixth stage of Intimacy vs. Isolation. Failure of this stage results in a young adult that cannot tolerate connection and seeks isolation, which is evident in Jackson’s later years. The Generativity vs.Stagnation stage is the task for those in the middle adult years to view that one has contributed to one’s own life and those around to him. Michael Jackson did this earlier in life.
By touring the world he met people from many countries that appreciated his music. He lived this stage as an adolescent. Instead of fulfilling the tasks of this stage Jackson tried to re live his childhood the correct way, since he wasn’t able to. At 30 Jackson purchased a 3000 acre home that with a theme park, ferris wheel, roller coaster, bumper carts, zoo, and a golf course.
He named the home “neverland”, which is a fantasy island in the children’s movie Peter Pan. Jackson’s attempt to redo his childhood was viewed as being abnormal to the world. Erik Erikson may argue that he was simply trying to complete an unfinished stage that he failed earlier in life. The final stage in Erikson’s theory is Wisdom/Integrity. During this time an individual is preparing for death.
One may ask themselves if they’ve done enough in their lifetime, reflect, and ask if they are satisfied with their life. Unfortunately, Jackson never reached this stage. He prematurely died due to a drug overdose.