Qualitative Sociology

, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 3–20 | Cite as

Conspiracy, Paranoia and the problem of knowledge

  • Charles W. Lidz


Using a case study, this paper presents a critique of Lemert's classic paper, “Paranoia and the Dynamics of Exclusion.” Starting from the position that Lemert did not prove his case, that in fact, there are no clear-cut grounds for determining whether an event called a conspiracy really exists, this case study leads to a consideration of the ethnomethodological notion of reflexivity of common sense knowledge.


Social Psychology Social Issue Common Sense Cross Cultural Psychology Classic Paper 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bateson, Gregory 1960 “Minimal requirements for a theory of schizophrenia.” In C. A. Whitaker, ed., Psychotherapy of Chronic Schizophrenic Patients. Boston: Little, Brown.Google Scholar
  2. Bowen, Murray 1960 “A family concept of schizophrenia.” In D. Jackson, ed., The Etiology of Schizophrenia. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  3. Cameron, Norman 1943 “The paranoid pseudocommunity.” American Journal of Sociology 46:33–38.Google Scholar
  4. ———— 1959 “The paranoid pseudocommunity revisited.” American Journal of Sociology 65:52–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cicourel, Aaron 1968 The Social Organization of Juvenile Justice. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  6. Durkheim, Emile 1956 Suicide. Glencoe: Free Press.Google Scholar
  7. Garfinkel, Harold 1967 Studies in Ethnomethodology. Engelwood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  8. Goffman, Erving 1961 Asylums. New York: Anchor.Google Scholar
  9. Lemert, Edwin 1962 “Paranoia and the dynamics of exclusion.” Sociometry 25:2–20.Google Scholar
  10. Lidz, Theodore, Stephen Fleck, and Alice Cornelison 1965 Schizophrenia and the Family. New York: International Universities Press.Google Scholar
  11. Mechanic, David 1962 “Some factors in identifying and defining mental illness.” Mental Hygiene 46:66–74.Google Scholar
  12. Mehan, Hugh and Houston Wood 1975 The Reality of Ethnomethodology. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  13. Scheff, Thomas 1966 Being Mentally III. Chicago: Aldine.Google Scholar
  14. Sudnow, David, ed. 1972 Studies in Social Interaction. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  15. Turner, Roy, ed. 1974 Ethnomethodology. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  16. Weider, Lawrence 1974 Language and Social Reality. The Hague: Mouton.Google Scholar
  17. Wynne, Lyman and Margaret Singer 1963 “Thought disorder and family relations of schizophrenics II: A classification of forms of thinking.” Archives of General Psychiatry 9:199–206.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Qualitative Sociology 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles W. Lidz
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Psychiatry and SociologyUniversity of PittsburghUSA

Personalised recommendations