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.