R. D. Laing: Sanity, Madness and the Family

(1244 words)
  • Daniel Burston (Duquesne University)
  • Gavin Miller (University of Glasgow)

Sanity, Madness, and the Family, published in 1964, was co-authored with Aaron Esterson (1923–1999), another Glaswegian psychiatrist who, like Laing, was deeply versed in existentialism and phenomenology (Esterson 1997). With the help and encouragement of John Bowlby, Director of the Tavistock Clinic, Laing and Esterson studied one hundred families in which one member was diagnosed schizophrenic in London's East End. For the purposes of this study, twenty-five families were eventually selected, and hundreds of hours of interviews took place, most of them in the family's own homes. The interviews were audio-taped and the recordings were transcribed and analysed with the help of social worker Sydney Briskin. This process took …

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Citation:
Burston, Daniel, Gavin Miller. "Sanity, Madness and the Family". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 August 2005
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=16849, accessed 21 December 2014.]