True, Laing views the family in terms of sets of interactions. “Individuals form alliances, adopt various strategies and play one or more individuals off against others in a complex tactical game.”
What is interesting in the analysis of family according to Laing is that there is always some politics going on in a family. The sisters stand on one side and brothers on the other.
It is also possible that brothers form factions and stand against each other. There is a constant ‘war’ in a family, one individual fighting against another. Laing takes a serious view about the state of affairs of the modern family. His perspective is quite clear when he writes:
A family can act as gangsters, offering each other mutual protection against each other’s violence.
David Cooper is the representative of the phenomenological approach taken in the study of family. He is actually influenced by Marxism. His observation is that it is the family which is responsible for generating the ideology of exploitation and discrimination.
Feudalism, for example, continued for a long period because of the feudal ideology perpetuated by the family. Family is the root cause of many of our social evils. Cooper writes:
The family operates as an ideological conditioning device in an exploitive society-slave society, feudal society and capitalist society.