John Lennon: a psychobiography
This study is a psychobiography of the famous Beatle John Lennon (1940 - 1980). John is well known for his controversial musical lyrics and unique personality, as well as the long history with the famous band that swept the world for many years. In his 40 years of life John managed to leave a vast imprint in the world through various social and political issues which still seem to be relevant today. John’s complex personality has intrigued scholars and even in our modern day existence more can be learned from this extraordinary character. This study primarily aims to explore and describe the development of John Lennon with specific reference to his psychosocial personality development through the use of Erikson’s (1950, 1963, 1968, 1977) theory. In this single case psychobiographical research design, the theory chosen was systematically used to reinterpret and reconstruct John’s life into an enlightening psychological narrative. John was born in Liverpool, England during the Second World War. He is mostly known for founding the famous band “The Beatles” and his controversial nature. He was selected as the subject for this study through a non-probability purposive sampling procedure. He is also known by many as an advocate for peace and equality, due to his involvement in socio-political issues later in his life. John’s life has been the subject of interest for many scholars, although there appears to be no evidence of a study conducted from the theoretical perspective chosen. John’s personality development, motivations and psychosocial underpinnings as a world famous individual have not yet been explored comprehensively. It is worth mentioning that a previous psychobiography has been conducted on John, however, from an Adlerian perspective. John’s life was uncovered in this psychobiography through a systematic and consistent collection, analysis and interpretation of available biographical data which consisted of published materials. Seven significant life periods were highlighted and identified in the collected data for analysis through the use of Erikson’s (1950, 1963, 1968, 1977) theory. Additionally, the collected data were organized and integrated in a conceptual matrix which further guided the analysis, presentation and discussion of the findings. A secondary aim of this study was to test the content and stages of Erikson’s (1950, 1963, 1968, 1977) psychosocial developmental theory. The findings of this study suggested that John experienced difficulty with his psychosocial development early in his life as it was mostly disparaging. According to the findings John only began to resolve many unresolved childhood crises later in life through the help of therapy. This study supported the applicability and relevance of Erikson’s (1950, 1963, 1968, 1977) theory for gaining a psychosocial understanding of the individual.