I must say at the outset that I never warmed up to the psychological term ``identity.'' When I ®rst encountered it as a college sophomore reading Erik Erikson's (1950: 260±261) Childhood and Society, I was confused and troubled by what he said because I could not ®nd myself in it. What Erikson described as identity neither clari®ed a particular cultural meaning, nor helped me locate myself with regard to the developmental continuum he described. In 1950, Erikson de®ned identity as
the accrued experience of the ego's ability to integrate all identi®cations with the vicissitudes of the libido, with the aptitudes developed out of endowment, and with the opportunities offered in social roles. The sense of ego identity, then, is the accrued con®dence that the inner sameness and continuity prepared in the past are matched by the sameness and continuity of one's meaning for others, as evidenced in the tangible promise of a career (emphasis in original).