R. D. Laing: Self and Others

(1045 words)
  • Daniel Burston (Duquesne University)
  • Gavin Miller (University of Glasgow)

Laing's second book, Self and Others (Laing, 1961) was described as a sequel to The Divided Self. But The Divided Self focuses on “internal” developments, or the inner cleavages that accompany schizoid and psychotic behavior. By contrast, Self and Others focuses on environmental conditions and patterns of communication that engender this kind of inner turmoil and confusion in both neurotic and psychotic patients. Another notable difference between Laing's first and second books is that in The Divided Self, Laing uses the term “ontological security” to describe what most of his contemporaries called “normality”. Though he may not have realized or intended it, perhaps, the fact …

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Citation:
Burston, Daniel, Gavin Miller. "Self and Others". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 August 2005
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=16853, accessed 01 August 2014.]