The sociological imagination of R.D. Laing

Scott, Susie and Thorpe, Charles (2006) The sociological imagination of R.D. Laing. Sociological Theory, 24 (4). pp. 331-352. ISSN 0735-2751

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Abstract

The work of psychiatrist R. D. Laing deserves recognition as a key contribution to sociological theory, in dialogue with the interactionist and interpretivist sociological traditions. Laing encourages us to identify meaningful social action in what would otherwise appear to be nonsocial phenomena. His interpretation of schizophrenia as a rational strategy of withdrawal reminds us of the threat that others can pose to the self and how social relations are implicated in even the most private and internal of experiences. He developed a far-reaching critical theory of the self in modern society, which challenges the medicalization and biochemical reduction of human problems. Using the case of shyness as an example, the article seeks to demonstrate the importance of Laing's theories for examining the fragility of the self in relation to contemporary social order.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology
Depositing User: Susie Scott
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 18:28
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2012 12:01
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/16599
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