The Structural Lie tackles one of social science's most mysterious problems. How is it possible to derive statements about the grand structures of social life from their effects in the small movements of everyday life? Prominent sociologist Charles Lemert shows how Marx and Freud provide some answers to this question. Marx derived from the commodity his picture of the capitalist system, Freud diagnosed the character of psyches from the details of dreams, slips and jokes. This wonderfully readable and engaging book lays the foundation for a new social science in an age where a microchip can convey a world of information.
Table of Contents
Introduction; Chapter 1 Lies and Life; Chapter 2 Baudrillard’s Death; Chapter 3 Paul Piccone (1940–2004); Chapter 4 Goffman’s Enigma; Chapter 5 Harold Garfinkel; Chapter 6 Structural Aggravations; Chapter 7 Betty Friedan and Simone de Beauvoir; Chapter 8 Said and “Edward”; Chapter 9 Niebuhr, Derrida, and Death; Chapter 10 Why Go to Prison?;
“I love the brilliance of Lemert’s writing and the force of his critique.”
—Dorothy E. Smith, University of Victoria, Canada
"Charles Lemert's comprehensive critique of the 'social unconscious', of Marx and Freud reappraised, in 'The Structural Lie' crowns a career devoted to innovation of the highest order in social theory. This is a brave, brilliant book".
- Professor Anthony Elliott, Chair of Sociology, Flinders University, Australia and Visiting Research Professor, Open University, UK