Laing's work The Divided Selfhas had a limited impact on social theory, but it raises some significant questions in an accessible way. 1 Laing was working with positivistic versions of psychiatry on the one side and traditional psychoanalytic theory on the other. He recognised weaknesses in both traditions when it came to validating the experience of people. In their different ways they were attempting to treat madness in terms of a language of reason. This led to the rejection and confinement of mentally ill people, particularly those suffering from schizophrenia. They had been objectified within the language of psychiatry that accepted the authority of reason to develop categorisations such as 'schizophrenic' or 'manic depressive', that were taken to be objective.